AJ Welcomes Community to Second State of the City

Mayor takes opportunity to buff accomplishments and boost excitement for Apache Junction’s future

The city of Apache Junction celebrated its second “State of the City” program on Wednesday evening, February 13, 2019. Mayor Jeff Serdy welcomed the community to an evening with city staff, elected officials and dignitaries from the region.

Those who attended the evening program were greeted at the entrance of the Apache Junction High School by smartly uniformed members of the Navy JROTC. With a click of their heels and a “good evening,” attendees were ushered to the Performing Arts Center (PAC) entrance, where a “meet and greet” was in progress. New this year, was a delicious selection of treats prepared by the EVIT Culinary students and served in their dining room adjacent to the PAC.

Classical string quartet music by students under the direction of Sandra Leen filled the air, and guests were encouraged to visit with Mayor Serdy, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, Pinal County Supervisor Todd House, Justice of the Peace Doug Coleman, as well as AJUSD Superintendent Dr. Krista Anderson.

The program began with a stirring rendition of the national anthem by Iceyss Schmitz, one of the winners of the Kiwanis Club’s 2019 AJ Kids Idol contest. Members of the AJHS NJROTC Color Guard joined Ms. Schmitz on stage.

Mayor Jeff Serdy

Mayor Serdy then recognized the ROTC program at the high school and presented a certificate to Cadet Hoffman on stage. Also recognized and welcomed were local and regional dignitaries, the Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce and Apache Junction Unified School District Superintendent and Governing Board members.

AJUSD Superintendent Anderson spoke briefly about her appreciation for the partnership the city has with the school district. She emphasized the importance of working together and providing a strong educational structure to strengthen our community.

Also in attendance were most of the Apache Junction City Council members, eager to see their “origin” stories that were featured in the first of two videos. In the presentation, members of the Council reflected on how they became interested in serving and encouraged the audience to consider serving the community as well.

The city’s marketing and production specialist Matthew McNulty produced the videos.

The second video featured stunning drone sequences of some of the city’s many public events, emphasizing improvements to the quality of life in Apache Junction. Highlighted in the presentation were Apache Junction’s award-winning Parks and Recreation Department, the surge in new “rooftop” developments, recent commercial development successes with Fry’s, Goodwill and Ross opening stores, and enhanced public safety through software upgrades at the Police Department.

An ominous soundtrack accompanied a sequence showing the development and opening of the roundabout at Superstition Blvd. and SR 88. The sarcasm was not lost on the laughing audience who were treated to time-lapsed, areal views of the roundabout’s construction and an overhead finale of vehicles using it — a clever pastiche of Busby Berkeley choreography (and no wrecks).

Also covered was a look ahead, now that residents passed a permanent base adjustment budget. The Council is working on possible ownership of the water and sewer districts, single-source trash pickup and an updating of development fee schedules.

After the videos, Mayor Serdy wrapped up the evening by emphasizing Apache Junction’s low crime rate. He also encouraged citizens to become involved with the upcoming Founder’s Day and to watch for development of an Arts Commission. He said that he was going to continue to reach out to Apache Junction’s neighbors to the east and south and has a meeting scheduled for March 14 to discuss ways of working together.

If you missed the State of the City, be sure to watch the featured videos online. Visit https://youtu.be/zDXliBqQ924 and https://youtu.be/o_A3KFpDIcc.

Photo above: Navy JROTC Color Guard and singer Iceyss Schmitz at the February 13 State of the City

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