State of the City address today at noon

Mayor: Speech Tuesday will be a springboard for the future


Published: Monday, January 23, 2012 at 10:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 23, 2012 at 10:42 p.m.

Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe will give his second State of the City address Tuesday, a speech he said he will use as a “springboard for the future” as he enters the last year in his first term.

In addition, Lowe said, “I will be recapping some of the things we've done in the last year.”

The speech is open to the public and will be held at noon at the Hippodrome Theatre downtown at 25 SE Second Place.

The remarks will come eight hours before President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address and a week before Gainesville voters go to the polls to elect two new city commissioners.

The seats now held by at-large Commissioner Jeanna Mastrodicasa and District 1 Commissioner Scherwin Henry are wide open as neither can run again because of the city's two-term limit.

Both have been political allies for Lowe.

In January 2011, when he gave his first State of the City speech, Lowe was coming off a particularly challenging year: worldwide media attention was focused on Gainesville because of the Dove World Outreach Center's plans to hold a Quran burning on Sept. 11, 2010, and the City Commission had to deal with an $8.3-million budget shortfall in the previous summer.

In Tuesday's speech, the mayor, who earlier this month filed to run for re-election in 2013, will likely touch on what he and other officials see as the early success of Innovation Square, the University of Florida's midtown business incubator that opened last year at the site of the former Shands at Alachua General Hospital.

The university and the city are hoping the project is a catalyst for jobs and a magnet for companies.

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