I smile to think what a unique city Layton is and what a privilege it is to call this community "home."
The warm, neighborly feel of a small town has not been overwhelmed by big city tendencies that often accompany a municipality of over 70,000 citizens, yet, Layton has arrived. Here we sit, in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountain Range, 22 square miles of beautiful land and wide vistas, populated by a youthful, vital people. Today the resident's median age is 27 years old. Although the future's not ours to see, growth to a populace of 120,000 is projected by 2020.
As I look back on the last four years, I am pleased to state without reservation that the city remains a strong, relevant, and respected municipality, both of Utah and of the nation. Our commitment to excellence assures that citizens enjoy the best services for the most efficient cost. These are some of the reasons why Money Magazine, ranked Layton as 41st nationally, "Best Places to Live," in published rankings.
The city council, with the support of city staff and employees, has kept steadfast focus on healthy growth. Hard issues have been confronted and sometimes we struggled, but we have emerged victorious.
Please indulge a sports metaphor: Although there have been missed tackles, touchdowns were scored and game stories developed to help us improve from any mistakes. The proactive approach of developing a desirable standard of living needs to continue. Major issues that will face Layton a generation from now have to be anticipated today and our healthy economic foundation will provide the backbone for our plans. Success and prosperity always precipitate growth, a double-edged challenge. Although growth will happen, it can be managed responsibly and planned ingeniously to serve the highest good of all concerned.
We have a lot going for us: Layton is not shy of amenities and invites all to experience "Restaurant Row;" it welcomes visitors with an array of hotels, and numerous retail outlets to keep even die-hard shoppers happy. Abundant movie theaters and entertainment through the arts can be accessed on "our front porch" at the Ed Kenley Amphitheater.
Plus, to keep everyone active, you can find an assortment of recreational opportunities. In alignment with our concern for the environment, we will continue to attend to the "greening" of our surroundings.
Building on those strengths, the horizon has brought into view the construction of the South Layton Interchange to I-15, the redevelopment of the Fort Lane Shopping area, the establishment of an intermodal hub that will coincide with the revitalization of "old downtown," and the establishment of a business manufacturing park at the east gate of Hill Air Force Base.
We now contemplate direction for years ahead on issues that will have a profound effect on the quality of life enjoyed in our neighborhoods. I am confident that our proposed direction will be successful and that we will continue to be regarded as an honorable, noble, and reputable community led by a team of dedicated public servants, committed to seeing that the citizens of Layton are given the best services for the most efficient cost.
Steve Curtis is Layton city mayor.