I hope this finds you all well into the second week of the new year. Most of us are glad to put 2020 behind us, and there really is light on the horizon. Many of you have friends in healthcare who have received their vaccine, and while there have been some delays, the number vaccinated grows every day. Importantly, thank you for being communicative, flexible and patient.
Four updates for you as we begin 2021:
With the new year come several changes in the City. As you may have already heard, after conducting a national search, we found our new City Administrator in our own back yard. Jennifer Lee, our long-time Assistant City Administrator, officially started her new role on January 1st. We are now actively interviewing for a new Assistant. Finally, thank you to our search committee!
Additionally, we have a new police chief. Major Byron Roberson was officially appointed to the role this week. He has been with the force for more than 20 years and will be a fantastic leader. His predecessor, Tim Schwarzkopf, retired after 5 years as Chief and we thank Tim for his long-time service and leadership.
Next week one of the recommendations of the Tomahawk Safety, Beauty and Connectivity Committee goes into effect. The speed limit on Tomahawk Road, from Mission Road to State Line, will be reduced to 25mph. This will make 25mph the speed limit on every street interior to the City. The police will spend time in January helping to educate drivers on this change, which should make walking, biking and even driving on Tomahawk safer.
The pandemic is still with us, so please remain vigilant. Please continue to limit gathering sizes, maintain social distance and wear masks when in proximity to others. Please also be thoughtful and give people appropriate social distance in outdoor spaces – whether running on Belinder, walking on Tomahawk, or enjoying our playground and parks.
Finally, we finished 2020 with lower crime than 2019 and still the lowest in the metro. But any one crime is too many, so we continue to need your help. There has been a recent uptick in auto thefts and burglaries in surrounding communities. The vast majority are of cars unlocked with the keys in them. This was true of 90% of the auto crimes in our City in 2020. Please lock your cars, don’t leave keys in them, and keep valuables out of sight.
As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to call City Hall at 913-362-9620 or email email@example.com. You are always welcome to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you again – Go Chiefs!
P.S. In the last two snow events, someone has driven ATVs in Hiawassee Park. In addition to being illegal and dangerous, this time there is damage to the park. If you saw anything yesterday (1/15), know anything about this or perhaps have a Ring or other camera that looks onto the park, please don’t hesitate to call the police non-emergency line at 913-642-5151.