Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo took to the podium Monday night for his State of the City address. It was an optimistic speech, conveying the message that the state of the city is strong, but the economy is troubled. Mayor Saffo said, "Our city is not immune from what is happening across this state, or this nation." In his annual State of the City address, Mayor Bill Saffo addressed the main concern for many Wilmington citizens - the city's financial state. He said the city is tightening its belt, just like many are doing at home. "This City Council successfully overcame a four-million dollar shortfall last year by implementing target cuts in all city departments," Saffo said. Five million dollars have already been cut from the city's budget. "We must also look for opportunities to work together with public and private partners in our effort to help grow and enhance our local economy," added the mayor. Mayor Saffo said among the partners working to enhance education and jobs are UNCW, Cape Fear Community College, GE, PPD, and the New Hanover Regional Medical Center. It would not be a Wilmington State of the City address without talking about the convention center. Mayor Saffo said, "It is the largest construction project in the region, and currently creating hundreds of desperately needed jobs." He said one-thousand people are involved in the construction, and 1,200 will work there. He concluded his address on a high note, thanking the citizens for taking an active interest in their government and committing to do what it takes to move the city of Wilmington forward. Mayor Saffo also mentioned two events that made national headlines: the commissioning of the USS North Carolina submarine and Wilmington leading the way in the digital television switch.
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