I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful holiday season. I know I did! It’s a brand-new year and as I reflect on 2019, I am extremely thankful for my family and for the opportunity to serve as your mayor of this great city. I truly appreciate the dedication of our city employees as well as our council. Every day we work hard to meet the needs of our residents and visitors. As a city, we have many services, programs and projects underway to fulfill our mission and continue to make Destin a great place to live, work, play and visit. We will continue these efforts well into 2020 and beyond.
On November 7th, 2019, council and senior city staff members met to discuss our achievements, where we are as an organization and the way ahead. City Council identified key initiatives and projects for staff to focus on. Some of those initiatives include more public beach access, undergrounding utilities, improvements to our parks and more. We have already made internal strides in 2019, where staff established a software implementation team with representatives from the Community Development, Code Compliance, Public Services, Information Technology and Finance departments. The goal was to collaborate and find an innovative solution to improve organizational efficiency in permitting, review, inspection, code compliance and financial processes. That goal has now become a reality. The City of Destin is now moving forward in implementing a new municipal software solution – Energov, of Tyler Technologies, Inc.
Everyone is very excited to have a new tool that will help serve the City of Destin better, more efficiently and improve communication with the citizens of Destin. We have recruited and filled 15 full-time positions and the city’s finance department was awarded for the 25th consecutive year the Government Finance Officer Association Certification of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. The Community Development Department has worked diligently on the realignment of the comprehensive plan and land development code where 467 of 486 parcels have been successfully rezoned (99.78%). This is great news for the city! As I mentioned earlier about our public beach initiative, the city has approximately $6.8 million earmarked for this and we are continuing our efforts for more financial funding. Progress is moving forward at Captain Leonard Destin Park. City staff, The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, The Trust for Public Land, engineers and the construction crew conducted a recent site visit and we look forward to the park opening sometime in the spring. Applications for improvements for other city parks are also in the works. So we have a lot to look forward to in 2020.
I would like to end by also thanking our citizens who care and are committed to our community. Our strength comes from you, and your involvement is what makes Destin special.
I wish you and your family the very best,
Mayor Gary Jarvis