The thrust of Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe's first State of the City address Thursday night was transparency in government. It was a theme he came back to repeatedly in his presentation before about 200 people at the Central Activity Center.
"We work for you and you need to know what's going on," Lowe told the crowd. "We're delighted to have the opportunity to do that."
To back up his and members of Phenix City Council's pledge for open government, the majority of Lowe's address was a PowerPoint presentation of the city's financial statements, showing the city's debt, assets and projects completed and in the pipeline.
Lowe also referred to the many projects along the river and pointed out that the city is at a critical junction in its history.
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"We've got to get it right this time," he said. "If we don't, we probably won't have this chance again."
In addition to citing whitewater and other potential and planned developments on the riverfront, Lowe introduced Mat Swift, president of the Real Estate Division of the W.C. Bradley Co., which just purchased the Phenix Plaza shopping center for redevelopment.
He closed by reminding the citizens that the city government can't do everything by itself. It needs the support and scrutiny of the people it serves, he said.
"We have a great opportunity here. But we need you," Lowe said. "We want you to keep us accountable. We're in this thing together."