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Stamford On Firm Ground, Mayor Martin Says In State Of City Speech

Stamford Mayor David Martin, center, talks with attendees just before his State of the City speech at the Hilton Stamford Hotel on Thursday.
Stamford Mayor David Martin, center, talks with attendees just before his State of the City speech at the Hilton Stamford Hotel on Thursday. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- In his second State of the City address, Stamford Mayor David Martin boasted of the city's strong fiscal state, low crime rate and high quality of life while promising to continue to make the city a welcoming place to live.

"I am proud to report that from where I sit, the state of our city is strong and growing stronger each day and continues to be rated as one of the best places to live in Connecticut," Martin said in a speech Thursday. "And for all the challenges that I talk about and that you talk about and some of the concerns and fears and nervousness, we are on top, and we have been on top, we will stay on top, and we will continue to be on top."

He spoke at the Hilton Stamford Hotel during a lunchtime meeting hosted by the Stamford Chamber of Commerce.

The city continues to enjoy a AAA rating from the bond agencies, Martin said. Not only does that indicate that the city is keeping control of costs, he said it also helps to lower costs to the city. He noted that on a $50 million 20-year bond, it would cost the city an extra $3 million in interest if it had a rating lower than AAA.

"Three million, that's about 20 cops, more or less," Martin said.

The city is moving forward with a new police station and just selected the Berlin-based architect firm of Jacunski Humes Architects to design it, he said. Asbestos was discovered in the headquarters months ago and while a recent report said the air quality is good, he said the officers need a new place to work.

He also praised the work of the city's officers. "When crime does occur our police department does not stop," Martin said.

He also said that the city will move aggressively to ensure that unfunded pension and retiree health care costs are funded.

"We are finally going to get serious about paying down these past unfunded liabilities," Martin said, promising that decisions wouldn't be "kicked down the road."

One item that should come as a relief to Fourth of July revelers is his promise that the fireworks show will not fall victim to budget cuts.

"We are not going to threaten closure of fireworks this year,'' Martin said.

He proudly spoke of the city's growth, mentioning that one projection said that Stamford will surpass New Haven as the state's second largest by 2017 (only behind Bridgeport).

"This growth is not for growth's sake," he said.

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