Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson delivered her final State of the City address Friday afternoon. Tomlinson took a non-traditional approach, going with a question and answer format instead of a speech.
Tomlinson started out by touting some of the city’s awards and recognitions, including being named one of the 50 best run cities in America. Then she moved on the addressing crime concerns, seemingly the biggest concern voiced by citizens.
According to the 2017 crime stats, the number of murders reached the highest level since 1980 with 35 people killed last year. However, violent crimes fell by 13 percent with an increase in the number of rapes and aggravated assaults. But part one crimes overall are down 39 percent, putting the city at the lowest level in 33 years. With those numbers, Tomlinson maintains crime is not as big of an issue as people think.
” So, it’s never going to be low enough. Until the year, that we report zero murders, it’s never going to be low enough, and you need to stop participating in beating us up. “so, if you wake up every day and start telling your friends and your colleagues and neighbors that this is a crime ridden hell-hole of a city, people are going to start believing you,” says Mayor Tereas Tomlinson.
She went on to tout increases in pay for police, and Columbus having the highest starting salary for officers compared to similar cities.
Mayor Tomlinson also said pension reform has saved the city $18.2 million in the last five years and is projected to save $55 million in 10 years.
Other notable achievements the mayor highlighted were a 25 percent decrease in the homeless population since 2015. Reaching “no kill” status with the pet euthanasia rate falling 62 percent and launch of the city’s new branding, “We Do Amazing.”