Mayor Winnecke looks back on 2013 with 14 News - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Mayor Winnecke looks back on 2013 with 14 News

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Mayor Winnecke sat down with us to discuss the good and bad of 2013. Mayor Winnecke sat down with us to discuss the good and bad of 2013.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke tells 14 News that he's confident recent accomplishments will lead to more success for the city in the new year. 

In what could be the mayor's final interview of the year, 14 News sat down tonight in his office to talk about the good and the bad of 2013. He says he's pleased with the past and is now focused on the future.

"Winning approval by the city council to move forward with the convention hotel project is got to be one of our largest community victories of the year," Winnecke said.

It probably comes as no surprise that after a long battle with the city council, he puts the convention hotel project at the top of his list of accomplishments for 2013.

"We were fortunate that we kept enough people sort of in the game and in the discussions. A lot of people wanted to see this project come through," Winnecke shared with 14 News.

There were several other projects the mayor say the community helped to make a success. Among them, the Clean Evansville project that he says has helped get over 50,000 pounds of litter off city streets.

"The fact we've been able to engage a large segment of our community to literally give back and clean it up, I think speaks well to what we're trying to do," Winnecke said.

At the same time, he says it's quite the accomplishment that thousands of city residents took part in nearly 40 community meetings and voiced their vision for a better community.

"There's some really exciting thing that will happen in 2014 as a result of what's come about through the vision process," Winnecke said.

When race relations became a heated issue in the city this summer, the mayor says his team stepped up to create community outreach programs as well as implement diversity training for city employees.

More recently, he says he's very proud he was able to help negotiate a full cloverleaf for the new Highway 41/Lloyd Expressway interchange.

But not everything went just as he planned in 2013. The city council voted not to fund his Roberts Park project.

"What they have said is, 'We're not saying no forever, we're saying no for now,'" Winnecke shared.

Winnecke says his staff will present a refined Roberts Park plan to the city council next year.

The main thing on the mayor's agenda as the year comes to an end is the IU Medical Center that he wants to be built downtown.

There are other things on the mayor's list that his office released on Monday night. Those are:

-Negotiated a full cloverleaf for the new Highway 41/Lloyd Expressway Interchange and prevented new stoplights on Highway 41.

 -Secured a new convention hotel in downtown Evansville, after three previous attempts had failed.

-Retained companies such as Berry Plastics, Whayne Supply, SealCorp, and Uniseal in Evansville while creating hundreds of jobs through numerous expansions.

-Cut $11 million from a $56 million utility contract signed in December of 2011.

-Convened public meetings and created a plan to move forward with the future of the Roberts Stadium site.

-Fixed the problems with the conversion of the new financial software that caused a disclaimer on the 2011 state audit.

-Completed the Ford Center project with a financial review that identified payment and billing errors.

-Developed the integrated long-term control plan in response to the federal mandate to improve our sewer system, which had been passed over for decades.

-Partnered with Leadership Evansville to facilitate the community's first visioning process that engaged over 2,000 participants.

-Implemented Clean Evansville and Energize Evansville to enhance our city's image and build pride. Through Clean Evansville, over 50,000 pounds of litter and trash have been collected by 3,500 volunteers.

-Worked with the Wesselman Nature Center Society and Capital Campaign volunteer chairs Carol McClintock, Niel Ellerbrook and Kathy Schoettlin, to raise over $1.36 million dollars for exhibit improvements including the new Nature Playscape. Construction to begin in 2014. 

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