Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett on Monday, April 10, gave his 11th annual State of the City address to a packed auditorium at Rochester Adams High School.
The address serves as an annual event in which the mayor highlights achievements and the character of the city in a way that goes beyond standard talking points delivered from a podium. This year's event featured a "Local Roots, Global Reach" theme, and focused on the diversity of the city's population, businesses and industry.
The address started with a video entitled "One Nation" that played while children on stage dressed in costumes depicting different countries sang along with lyrics, such as, "We are one nation, we are one land together in freedom, united we stand." Other entertainment included performances by African Drum Dancers Nanou Djiapo, the Motor City Irish Dancers, Jazba Indian Dance Group and the St. Paul's Catholic Community Albanian Dance Group. The event ended with an on-stage fireworks show.
Barnett took time between performances to highlight some of the achievements of the city, including its designation as the safest city in Michigan, based on FBI data; a 61-percent increase in new housing, as well as increases in property values; the city's high business occupancy rates; the city's recycling program; and ongoing and future development in the city.
"The city of Rochester Hills has had another exceptional year, perhaps our most accomplished as we continue to be one of the hottest places in southeast Michigan for innovation and investment," he said. "Our residents, businesses and employees, non-profits, they've innovated, influenced, blessed, worked, achieved and delivered in immeasurable ways to the people we serve."
In addition to highlighting the city's achievements, Barnett used the address to announce the renaming of the city's Riverbend Park, which is the first it has developed in two decades. Due to the number of other parks in the area with similar names, the city held a contest to rename the park, with the selected winner being "Innovation Park."
Barnett also touted the city's new interactive project map, which can be found on the city's website and is intended to let residents and others know what construction and development projects are going on in the city.
Focusing on the diversity of its businesses, the mayor recognized international companies, such as Jenoptik, Bader and Molex, who have recently relocated to Rochester Hills. The event also took time to recognize the diverse residents of the city, including Luiz and Mayara Malu, who recently immigrated to the United States to move to Rochester Hills....continued on page 2