Panama City Mayor Lauren DeGeorge outlined her hopes for the future of the area Thursday afternoon in her State of the City speech at city hall.
New developments and businesses are sprouting up all over the area and Mayor DeGeorge feels it's time for citizens and government to take advantage of all the new opportunities.
In her first ever State of the City address, DeGeorge said although growth has been great for the economy, the local government wasn't ready for such a rapid change.
"It is important in that we take the next couple of years to identify and protect the things about our city that have made life sustainable so that when the onslaught returns we will be ready."
The Mayor says she recognizes the shortage of affordable housing in Panama City, but says now is the time to use the available resources to build more homes.
She says participation by individuals increases the quantity and quality of production and says new technology can give them a voice. "I believe the only thing that prevents participation is a lack of facilitation. Give people a way to participate and they will be happier with their local government. Let's make use of technology to get the government out of the background and out into our city neighborhoods.”
DeGeorge also hopes that the local government can work more closely with resident's in improving the environment through her program "get green, get clean" by planting trees and hauling away trash.
She says she sees a bright future for Panama City. "I could go on and on about the things that I feel it is time for but as a conclusion to the first State of the City address. I will leave you with just one. Panama City truly is in a state of change and it always will be. It is time however for that change to mean good things for all its people and not just a select few."