"The state of the city is strong," Voelker said, which he attributed to Richardson's ability to leverage its resources, offer a high level of customer service and a history of strategic city planning.
A segmented presentation followed highlighting work to improve the city's infrastructure and neighborhoods, Richardson's growing and diverse business landscape, continued work with community and institutional partners, a focus on philanthropy, "best of" rankings and the city's future issues.
"We are very aware that we are competing with the region, the nation and sometimes even the world," Voelker said.
The address emphasized last year's major accomplishments and milestones, such as a No. 1 ranking for office leasing by commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield; the finalizing of two Dallas Area Rapid Transit stations on the future Cotton Belt rail line; work to revitalize underperforming areas, such as the Collins-Arapaho Innovation District and the Main Street corridor; construction of the Richardson East Rotary Club's Inclusive Playground project; completion of the Spring Creek Nature Area perimeter trail; the awarding of a $4.6 million grant by Texas Instruments for Richardson ISD's STEM For All program; and the groundbreaking of a new $80 million police and fire department headquarters.
Voelker concluded the evening with a call to action, petitioning the people of Richardson to contact their local representatives and voice their opposition to reduced public school funding by the state and legislation that erodes local control, such as municipal property tax caps.
"Our home, our decision," Voelker said.