Mayor Goodwin Gives 2022 State of the City Address
During the Charleston City Council meeting held on Monday, January 3, Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin gave her 2022 State of the City address. The speech gave highlights of 2021 and outlined priorities for 2022 and beyond.
“During this year’s address we celebrated the many accomplishments of 2021 while also reflecting on our challenges and those we lost throughout the year,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “In the throes of a pandemic, we again balanced the FY2022 budget with no new taxes, and without cutting or eliminating essential city services all while creating and maintaining the largest rainy-day fund in the City’s history. Our vision and plan for 2022 is focused on public safety, infrastructure enhancements, investment in our businesses, enhancements in parks and recreation, and our robust support for the arts.”
In 2021, the Goodwin Administration:
- Balanced the FY2022 budget with no new taxes, and without cutting or eliminating essential City services all while creating the largest rainy day fund in the City’s history.
- Invested in our small businesses by offering small business grant funds. More than $750,000 have helped our businesses make much needed improvements and helped to keep doors open and lights on.
- Taken down more than 275 dilapidated and abandoned houses over the past three years.
- Implemented a salary increase for all Charleston Police officers.
- Raised the starting salary for all probationary police officers almost $2 per hour and fixed a long-time pay issue for officers working night shift.
- Implemented a new $15,000 signing bonus for first-time certified recruits to help the Charleston Police Department be competitive in its ability to recruit and retain the best possible officers for our City.
- Created a new $15,000 signing bonus for qualifying first-time Charleston Fire Department recruits who are certified paramedics.
- Fixed a pay discrepancy for our Street Department CDL drivers to align their salary with those in the Refuse Department doing similar work.
- Awarded a $1.75 million-dollar federal grant – the RAISE grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help us revitalize our waterfront. The project will enhance safety, pedestrian and bicyclist accessibility, transit access, transportation efficiency and it will better connect the West Side and the East End to downtown.
- Received a $500-thousand-dollar award alongside regional government and business organizations through the EDA’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge.
- Partnered with The McGee Foundation to create of a master plan to improve the lives of all people living and working on the West Side of Charleston.
- Conducted an audit of lighting on the West Side.
- Created a plan to provide a safer way to connect the historic Five Corners.
- Upgraded Downtown City-owned parking garages including new security cameras, additional lighting, updated paint schemes to more easily find your vehicle, and additional security presence on the evening and weekends.
- Established the Charleston Roots program to incentivize folks across the nation to move to our Capital City.
- Gave more than 40 local kids a job this summer as part of the resurgence of the Summer Job Program.
- Partnered with AT&T provided new mattresses for all CFD fire stations.
- Partnered with Oak View Group on the management of the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center and Municipal Auditorium. OVG’s wealth of industry knowledge and relationships with sales and booking agencies across the county and the world have already secured a major return on investment.
- Kept baseball in the Capital City by partnering with the Atlantic League and our team – the Charleston Dirty Birds.
- Created the first Business Improvement District where local businesses and property owners have taken an active role in helping to fund and develop programming around their investments.
- Added the AARP FitLot Fitness Park on Charleston’s East End at the Dixie Street Park - the only location in the State of West Virginia.
- Unveiled new basketball, futsal and pickleball courts at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.
- Dedicated the Western Wing of the MLK Center, where afterschool programs are held, to Charleston hero, Patrolman Robert Edward Easley, Sr.
- Created the new Spring Hill Cemetery Arboretum, the largest Arboretum in the State of West Virginia.
- Opened Charleston’s first Skate Park.
- Opened Emma’s Place, a dog park in honor of the late Ptlm. Cassie Johnson, at Cato Park.
- Dedicated Bailee Rose Dunlap Park on South Park Road in Kanawha City.
In 2022, the administration will:
- Use the City’s $36.8 million allocation of the American Rescue Plan funds to invest in our economy and communities now, while also ensuring a bright future for generations to come.
- Support programs that house the homeless, invest in organizations that provide eviction relief to keep people in their homes, and support the shelters who open their doors to those in need.
- Aid those suffering from addiction through our CARE Office and with the assistance of local providers.
- Invest in new business incentives, and tourism incentives including events that bring a large return on investment – like the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta.
- Turf fields, upgrade existing pools, and invest in more summer job opportunities and childcare programming so youth will continue to have a safe place to work and play.
- Help to establish better food security and clear more dilapidated houses and structures.
- Commission a feasibility study & design for a new public safety center.
- Create a small business liaison to help small businesses.
- Finalize new City Center at Slack Plaza. This space will act as a central hub in the City of Charleston, one that is home to food trucks, live entertainment, ice skating, children’s programming and so much more.
- Revitalize and create parks & recreation spaces including Cato Park, Celebration Station and Beatrice Street Park.