"Tonight's discussion was an important one. As I have said from day one of my time as Mayor, we will develop our city by design not by default.
"We want to grow this city and we will explore all good opportunities. But development will not be dictated by developers. We will be intentional about the quality of the development in our city and we will be intentional about engaging affected communities.
"As we consider development opportunities, we will make sure that the services our residents need are right here within the city limits. We should not have to go to a neighboring jurisdiction to get the things we want and need. Right now there is not a department store north of the river in the city limits. I love our neighbors, but that doesn’t mean we need to spend all of our money in the counties. If there are opportunities that can help us reverse that trend, they need to be fully explored and considered. We absolutely must continue creating jobs and alleviating poverty in our city.
"At the same time, we will work to ensure that development does not diminish the fabric of a community or the values of a particular neighborhood. We will not sacrifice our neighborhoods to promote development.
"I understand and appreciate the history of City Stadium. But our city is land-locked. We have to find ways to repurpose property to ensure that all of our assets are productive and move our city forward. A good government should always look for the highest and best use of its assets. With that said, let me be clear that no decisions have been made about the City Stadium property. Everything that has been presented to me has also been presented to the councilperson from that district in the interest of being transparent and ensuring that the appropriate community outreach begins.
"Now, while there may have already been some type of community discussion about the future of City Stadium, I believe we must have a larger conversation. Some have already said that we need athletic and recreational assets and not more development. At this stage, I don't think it is an 'either or' proposition. But these types of questions are exactly why I want us to have a comprehensive visioning process where the entire community is engaged -- not just one or two neighborhoods.
"This is City Stadium and any reprogramming will affect the entire city. The community should know that I expect and welcome the broader discussion."