Mayor delivers state of the city address

Mayor delivers state of the city address
Mayor Judy Titsworth gives her state of the city address during an Oct. 8 commission meeting. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – Mayor Judy Titsworth’s first of two years in office will come to a close in November. To recognize her first year as the city’s mayor, she took some time during the Oct. 8 commission meeting to discuss some of her favorite accomplishments in the past 11 months.

“This year’s flown by and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” she said.

Titsworth began her address by recognizing the city’s staff saying that she’s proud of the staff as well as their accomplishments and growth over the past year. A goal, she said, was to improve customer service across all departments. To that end, Titsworth created the role of director of development services, a position that Eran Wasserman from LTA Engineers is currently transitioning into. She also marked the change to Code Compliance for former Code Enforcement officers and the promotion of James Thomas as supervisor, along with the creating of another full-time clerk position in that department and their move to the public works annex building among some of the highlights for the year.

Another was the hiring of new Building Official Neal Schwartz. Titsworth took the time to thank John Fernandez, who stepped in to fill the position temporarily after the departure of former Building Official Jim McGuinness. She added that she’s also very happy to bring Planner Bill Brisson on the city staff as a full-time employee. Titsworth also thanked Engineer Lynn Burnett for her efforts on behalf of the city.

She said she’s also excited for the improvements to the city’s vacation rental certificate program to help it run more efficiently.

Titsworth also thanked Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer and his department for their work to help keep the city safe, and credits the newly-installed license plate reader system as an asset to the city’s police officers.

Along with the improvements happening at the city field complex, Titsworth said she’s particularly proud of the dog park expansion and the planned skate park, which will be built with a bowl. She said funds for the bowl were made possible through the efforts of Tom Sanger from Sanger Pools and area contractors who donated materials for the new skate park.

One of Titsworth’s goals for the next year of her term is to see some of the planned improvements throughout the city come to life, including the expansion of a multi-use path along Palm Drive, the widening of the city’s bicycle lanes and continued efforts to improve crosswalk visibility. She said that over the next year, residents can expect to see more stormwater improvements, the addition of fish cleaning stations at the T-end docks rented by the city to residents and that dredging in city canals also will begin.

In her address, Titsworth also took the time to thank each department head for their contributions to the city’s progress over the past year.

“Thank you again and it has been my honor to serve,” she said.

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