This has been such a tough year, we're hard pressed to find things to be thankful for. But as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, it's encouraging to know that we have still managed to make some positive and meaningful strides to move our city forward.
First, I need to emphasize my pride in Fort Wayne citizens for the way you immediately rallied to assist those in need when the pandemic struck. You sewed masks, you donated food and supplies, you helped with child care, and you checked on neighbors. You showed your support for our brave frontline workers.
This community has proven over and over again that we're caring and we're strong.
A second highlight was the Electric Works project as there is a new economic development agreement in place. This redevelopment project has the potential to further advance our community and region as a point of destination for job and business growth, strong neighborhoods and quality-of-life amenities that are attractive and unique.
I'm appreciative of the partnership forged by RTM Ventures, The Model Group and Tim Ash. Together, they're in position to get Electric Works across the finish line.
In addition, our community came together to support the city's 2021 budget that includes important investments in neighborhood infrastructure, public safety and parks.
The passage of a balanced budget by City Council in a bipartisan manner will enable us to continue to serve the public with essential services without interruption.
Even with the Electric Works and budget accomplishments, we know we'll be facing challenges for the foreseeable future as a result of COVID-19.
Our local and national health experts are preparing us for the realization that, this Thanksgiving, it likely won't be safe to gather around a table with our extended family and neighbors to share a meal. For this year, walking through your neighborhood or enjoying our beautiful parks and trails on Thanksgiving could be a safer option.
Above all, please wear your mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing. Avoid large gatherings at all costs.
I'm thankful for everything you are doing to keep your loved ones and everyone else in our community safe. Please gather your inner strength and encourage one another to stay vigilant with these essential safety protocols during the coming winter months. It will be hard, but we can do this.
Finally, when the fatigue of dealing with this pandemic does get you down, and it will challenge us all, I encourage you to keep thinking about how much we'll have to talk about next year.
I, for one, will look at each of my beloved family members and be thankful they are still here.
I'm hopeful that you're as optimistic as I am about the future. Fort Wayne is positioned for continued success and growth. Even during difficult circumstances, we're moving forward in a positive direction.
Tom Henry is mayor of Fort Wayne.