TAKING ADVANTAGE OF OUR ASSETS

by Michael Lamar, City Manager, City of Prescott

Oct. 10, 2017 marked my one-year anniversary as Prescott City Manager, so I thought this would be a good time to share some of my observations about our terrific and unique community. Moreover, I wanted to publicly explain how these observations are helping shape my work plan.

Like many of you, I am completely enamored with Prescott’s natural beauty, vibrant downtown, and its unique history and heritage. And as I settle in – personally and professionally – I am equally wowed by our residents’ hospitality. As I take stock of some of our other assets, including, but not limited to, quality public infrastructure, a moderate cost of living, a business-friendly atmosphere, a strategically established and maintained water portfolio, a city staff committed to public/customer service, excellent K-12 schools, and four first-rate institutes of higher learning, I sincerely believe Prescott is well positioned to prosper for years to come.

In terms of our external (to city government) assets, my staff and I have worked hard on facilitating and linking similar assets to benefit the whole community. The best example of this is the Heritage Trail and History Hunt (detailed in a previous issue of Prescott LIVING Magazine). This self-guided tour will take residents and visitors through the history and heritage of our community, region and state.

On another front, we are also working closely with residents, developers and commercial land owners to ensure that both residential and commercial growth in Prescott makes sense and is done in the most logical way possible. Additionally, we are working on creative ways to encourage more infill and adaptive reuse of land and vacant structures. Along these lines, we hope the implementation of the downtown entertainment district creates a more welcoming environment for entrepreneurs and allows the city to better market our vibrant arts and entertainment scene.

In terms of our internal assets, part of my job as city manager is to maximize city staff resources to achieve the best possible results. Over the past year, we have worked on reorganizing our departments to gain greater efficiency and effectiveness while maintaining high quality services.

Also, we have implemented an economic development policy, enhanced existing partnerships with our institutes of higher education, and laid the foundation for expanding our job market to better include positions for the 21st century (i.e. technology, cybersecurity, ecotourism, etc.).

The past year has been a lot of fun, but I am even more excited about looking toward the future of Prescott. This community is poised for some unbelievable things, and I truly cannot wait for 2018 and beyond.