After eight years of service to the Muncie community as the city’s mayor, Dennis Tyler in his final State of the City address reflected on the progress made during his tenure and the projects that await the city in the future.
The outgoing mayor delivered his final State of the City address Tuesday at the Horizon Convention Center in downtown Muncie. Onstage, decorations were set out to resemble the downtown which Tyler has seen expand over the past eight years.
“I’m 76 years old, and somehow or another this community has been a part of me for over two-thirds of that — 55 years of it as a matter of fact,” Tyler said.
Tyler began his speech by speaking of his first State of the City address he delivered in 2012 within his first few days of taking office.
“I went there and kind of winged it, but it went pretty well,” Tyler said about his first address on Jan. 16, 2012.
He said the current state of Muncie is different from what he started with in 2012.
“It breaks my heart when I hear people don’t want to talk about the goodness of the Muncie community,” said Tyler. “This is an amazing community when people come together. I am excited to serve Muncie today as I was on January 2, 2012.”
Much of Tyler’s speech was devoted to the financial state of the community. He also spoke about other projects completed or being undertaken in the city.
“The city of Muncie is in very strong, financially secure shape,” Tyler said.
The 70 - 75% of Muncie’s budget allocated for public safety is something he said is common in other cities in Indiana. Tyler, a former firefighter, said it was his duty to make sure the men and women of the fire department got home to their families.
The mayor also spoke about Muncie Animal Shelter’s budget-related issues, Muncie Community Schools, employers using Madjax, the residency program at PlySpace and the development of hiking trails in Muncie apart from other infrastructure projects in the city.
The Next Muncie team working alongside the Muncie community was also something Tyler said is a great opportunity for success in the community.
He also spoke about healthcare-related progress in the city like the Veterans Affairs clinic announced to soon open in Muncie and Acadia healthcare which he said will serve 400-800 outpatients with opioid addiction.
“As the mayor of the last eight years and the next eight months I intend to keep trying to do exactly what I’ve done ... that’s make Muncie a better place to live, work and play,” Tyler said. “That’s not always been easy, but many times it’s been challenging. I’ve loved every minute of it.”