South Bend mayor delivers his first address to common council

Published: Feb. 10, 2020 at 11:03 PM EST
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South Bend Mayor James Mueller delivered his inaugural address to the common council Monday night.

Mueller -- no stranger to the city, having served as chief of staff for former Mayor Pete Buttigieg -- said there are some positive trends that developed in the last few years he hopes to continue.

“So we want to start with just a quick glance at where we are as a city, and over the past few years we've seen our population rise again,” Mueller said.

In addition to population, he reported that South Bend has made progress in many key areas since 2016, including increased median household income and per capita income as well as decreased poverty rate.

As he looked to the future, funding the South Bend Community School Corporation and improving public safety were top priorities.

“The schools, as you know, are proposing a referendum for nearly 40 cents per $100 of assessed value. This would lead to almost $21 million a year for eight years and up to $54 million of debt capacity to address their capital and strategic needs. Public safety -- we are double digits short of sworn officers in our police department, and so we are looking to see what we might be able to do sooner rather than later,” he said.

As he leads South Bend in his first year, Mueller says he's hoping to have a less data-driven address come April.

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