For the first time in twenty years, a mayoral election took place in O’Fallon, and my name did not appear on the ballot. It was a very bittersweet moment for me as I cast my vote. I am going to enjoy my retirement, but I would not trade my twenty years serving as your Mayor for anything.
One of my very favorite quotes is by Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the World Scouting Movement. It is very simple, very short, and very true advice:
“Leave this world a little better than you found it.”
Now, I am not leaving O’Fallon, and I am not leaving this world, but as I sit down and reflect on the last twenty years, I cannot help but to smile. Since 1997, O’Fallon has transformed from a small city to the premier community in the Metro-East.
Over the last twenty years (1997-2016), over 3,800 new homes have been built and nearly $1.6 billion in construction has occurred in O’Fallon. Over $330 million of that total has occurred in just the past two years!
In stark contrast to the financial story of the State of Illinois, O’Fallon is in a strong financial position. For the 17th year in a row, the City of O’Fallon ended the year in the black; with revenue that exceeded expenses. The City ended the fiscal year with $138 million in capital assets, $36.9 million in cash and cash equivalents and a AA+ Standard & Poor’s Bond Rating.
Most importantly, the residents of O’Fallon enjoy living here and calling this their home. During last year’s National Citizen Survey, 95% of residents rated the City of O’Fallon as an excellent or good place to live.
In addition to rating the City as a great place to live, respondents rated several aspects of community quality very highly, including O’Fallon as a place to raise children and to retire, safety, their neighborhood as a place to live, the overall image or reputation of O’Fallon and its overall appearance.
These positive results are no accident. They are the results of determination, leadership and shared vision by O’Fallon’s elected officials and the entire O’Fallon community. This community is already the best around, and the future is very bright!
I owe it to my family, friends, O’Fallon’s dedicated City Staff, elected officials, and of course, every resident and business that chose to make O’Fallon their home. Because of them, being Mayor of O’Fallon was one of the greatest honors and pleasures of my life.