Mayor Pete Buttigieg delivers State of the City Address - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Mayor Pete Buttigieg delivers State of the City Address


The first time around Mayor Pete Buttigieg was only at the helm for about one hundred days.
Now, that he has a full year under his belt, what is he planning next for South Bend?

The Mayor says last year was a year for transition and this year is a year for action.

If you'll remember, in his first address, one of the biggest issues the Mayor talked about was violence in South Bend.

This year, it's still at the top of his priority list.

In fact, he announced Wednesday evening that he's forming an Anti-Violence Commission.

It will be co-chaired by the new Chief of Police Ron Teachman and the Board of Public Safety member Reverend Eddie Miller.

There will also be representatives from local, county and federal law enforcement, along with folks in social services and the faith community.

Buttigieg says the committee won't be there to write a report but rather to stop the shooting.

"They tell us that the statistics on crime here are comparable to other cities of our size and makeup, but that is no comfort to the families of those affected, and we must send a message that one violent crime in our community is one too many. We cannot tolerate another summer like last summer," says Buttigieg.

The commission will have its first meeting on April 1st. To support this effort, South Bend will join the National Network for Safe Communities and announce plans for a mentoring initiative next month.

The Mayor also announced the city will establish a training facility for firefighters called the Luther J. Taylor Sr. Fire Safety Training Center.

Buttigieg says in light of the plane crash tragedy that happened just a few days ago, readiness is of the utmost importance.

The Mayor talked about economic development and the resurgence of downtown.

Buttigieg says the city will focus more on the St. Joseph River. There's plans for new river lighting and more growth to take place from the East Race area to the former Transpo maintenance site.

He also says they'll go ahead with changing some of the one way streets downtown to two way, making room for pedestrians to walk around and hopefully do some shopping or stop for a bite to eat while they're there.

The Mayor says other cities making a similar change seeing big results.

"If we can create jobs and tax base while reinvigorating the urban core of our city, adding a couple minutes to the commute might prove to be worth it," says Buttigieg.

Also talking economic development, the Mayor says the city recorded over $200 million in private investment last year.

It was a packed house Wednesday at Lasalle Intermediate. Everyone there to hear what the Mayor's plans are for the city.

Common Councilman Oliver Davis says it was an excellent start, defining the year the Mayor's had in office.

He's encouraged by his plans, but wants to make sure the focus is on the whole city and not just certain areas.

"It's nice to see many of the areas of growth on the East side, near Notre Dame, but we still have to have a lot of the vitality and strength as we look at the whole entire city, including the far west side," says Davis.

Councilmember and South Bend police officer, Derek Dieter says he's looking forward to hearing more about the Mayor's plans for an anti-violence Commission.

"I was on the 'Cease Fire' back in 2005 and 2006, we worked on that. The Council hasn't had any input on it yet so hopefully they'll seek that because we are nine community representatives who know this city better than anybody," says Dieter.

The Mayor didn't mention in his speech whether or not the Council will be included in the Commission.

Dieter says he also hasn't heard any details through the police department.

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