This is the time of the year when we find out the nation’s city’s are in better shape than we’ve been led to believe. “Strong” is the operative word, in fact. Today, Mayor R.T. Rybak, acknowledging the many challenges facing Minneapolis, summed up the city’s economy as “strong” in his State of the City address.
Mayors tend to struggle for just the right adjectives for these speeches.
“The state of the city is strong.” — Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels.
“I am here to report that the State of our City is strong and Cincinnati is on the move,” Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.
“I am pleased to join you today, because the state of our city is strong,” Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry.
St. Paul? Put it down: strong. “I’m here to tell you that the state of our Capital City is strong,” then Mayor Randy Kelly said in 2003. “I’m proud to report that Saint Paul is a strong city,” current Mayor Chris Coleman said in 2007.
What would your State of the City address say? Remember, you have to stay generally positive. “My city sucks pond water” won’t get you re-elected. But remember: the adjective you use will become the headline. How about “the state of the city is pretty good”?