“We are the ones who are here right now. What decisions are we going to be able to point to that were transformational in terms of the trajectory of Atlanta, so that we can walk around with a comfort and ease when we have passed the baton to the next generation of leaders? My simple request of everybody who is in this room today is that Atlanta and our region should always be in the posture of choosing the future. Choose the future.”
- Three years of balanced budgets – with no property tax increases – that resulted in growing the city’s cash reserves from $7.4 million in January 2010 to $126.7 million dollars as audited by KPMG as of June 30, 2012;
- Resolution of the city’s looming pension crisis, thereby addressing a $1.5 billion unfunded liability and saving the city more than $270 million over the next 10 years and $500 million over the next 30 years;
- Recruitment of more than 700 new police officers for a force of more than 1,940 on way to a goal of 2,000, making the Atlanta Police Department the biggest law enforcement agency in the state of Georgia and the largest sized force in the city’s history;
- Affirmation from Moody’s Investors Service on the City of Atlanta’s Aa2 rating and its outlook to “stable” from “negative” on its $211.4 million in outstanding general obligation bonds and $184.5 million in contractual obligations;
- Further development and expansion of the Atlanta BeltLine, which since 2010 has acquired 4.5 miles of new trails, four new parks totaling more than 30 acres, remediated nearly 80 acres of contaminated land and committed funding to more than 120 affordable housing units. To date, the Atlanta BeltLine has garnered more than $41 million in private support and was named as one of the best transportation projects in the nation by the Sierra Club in 2012;
- Opening the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest passenger airport for the 15th year in a row with more than 95 million passengers. The 1.2 million square-foot sleek and modern terminal features 12 gates on Concourse F and has already become an iconic city landmark; and
- Launching the city’s economic development agency, Invest Atlanta, which last year had 35 project wins, facilitated the creation of 2,024 direct and 1,292 indirect/induced jobs, and attracted over $700 million in private sector capital. Additionally, the agency attracted $66 million in capital investment from private investors to launch two new housing initiatives which have already enabled 150 families to purchase homes in the city.