Greetings, Chesterfield residents!
As I pen this message from across the ocean, I am filled with pride and excitement to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our City in 2023! This month, my wife and I have been fortunate to embark on a European adventure, soaking in the rich history and vibrant culture of places like Krakow, Poland, and Budapest, Hungary. Yet, even from afar, my thoughts are firmly rooted in our beloved City.
In the fall edition of our Citizen publication, I shared a vision for the development of Downtown Chesterfield, focusing on the importance of density in creating vibrant communities. Today, I draw inspiration from the charming Old Town Krakow, where a public square teeming with shops, restaurants and public amenities creates a haven for pedestrians and cyclists—it’s a testament to the vitality that congregating spaces can infuse into a city. I am pleased to report that we are one giant step closer to bringing this vision to life, as the zoning for a mixed-use development at Chesterfield Mall has been approved. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our City Staff and Councilmembers, our City is on the cusp of its own thrilling renaissance.
The City Council and I are diligently working on the 2024 municipal budget, and looking at our financial performance over the past year, I am cautiously optimistic. Despite the challenges posed by inflation, our revenue streams have remained robust. However, potential external threats loom—such as the proposed state legislation by Senator Mary Elizabeth Coleman, which seeks to remove sales tax from groceries. This move could have a devastating impact on cities like ours and those that are heavily reliant on sales tax revenue. Estimates suggest that this could result in a loss of up to 25% of our sales tax revenue.
I urge you to voice your concerns and opposition to this short-sighted initiative by reaching out to Senator Coleman. While reducing taxes is a noble goal, we must remember that taxes are the lifeblood of our City, funding the essential services that make Chesterfield a great place to live, work and play. Rest assured that we are committed to maintaining minimal government and keeping taxes as low as possible, all while ensuring that our dedicated City employees receive fair compensation to attract and retain the best talent and that they have enough resources to continue providing the excellent services you expect.
Another significant achievement worth celebrating is the ongoing development of The District in Chesterfield Valley. The Hub and the recently opened 4 Hands Brewing have already become cherished additions to our community. Furthermore, the installation of artificial turf on our baseball and softball fields at the Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex has made Chesterfield an attractive destination for Perfect Game tournaments, drawing out-of-town teams from all over the country. While we may not have precise figures on the economic impact, there’s no doubt that these visitors contribute significantly to our local economy, benefiting both our businesses and residents from neighboring communities.
In closing, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation and congratulations to our City Councilmembers and City Staff for their hard work and commitment to our community’s growth and well-being. This past year has been incredibly productive for our City, and together, we have navigated numerous challenges with resilience and determination.
As we approach the holiday season, I encourage you to embrace the spirit of unity and community that defines Chesterfield. I hope to see you out and about, enjoying the festivities and holiday celebrations that make our City so special!