Unlike in years past, Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck had nothing but good news to deliver in his annual State of the City address.
“The state of the city this year is very rosy,” Cluck said Friday just before his annual address.
The city's rosy state includes a $4 million surplus.
“The convention and hotel businesses have really risen to the top here in Arlington," he said. "There’s also the Cowboys and the Rangers.”
The mayor was quick to point out that without the booming convention business, Arlington would have 10,000 fewer jobs to offer.
While accommodating and entertaining -- from conventions and hotels to sports and Six Flags Over Texas -- are two of the biggest games in town, city officials admit that they’re not enough to rely on.
“I would never be satisfied just thinking it would work every year," Cluck said. "I think we have to make it work, and we’re prepared to do that. I know the Rangers are going to be here, the Cowboys are going to be here, and they’re good for us. But you never know when something untold is going to occur."
He said the expansion of existing industries and the recruitment of new ones needs to happen.
“We want another hotel, a new hotel," he said. "We’re closing in on a couple that we think that would be good."
As Arlington continues to grow, the lack of public transportation is the one glaring difference between it and cities its size and larger. While the city has been on board, enough residents have resisted to park the issue, Cluck said.
“It’s been voted down by residents -- by wide margins," he said. "We’re always on the lookout for something to remedy [transportation], but I don’t think we’re close at this stage. Yes, most big cities, especially cities like ours that have 100 square miles, do have some transportation. We have rudimentary transportation. It’s not what you see in Dallas or Fort Worth.”
Despite the comparison, Cluck also quickly moved Arlington out from under the shadow cast by some of its big-city neighbors.
“It’s not a contest," he said. "I want everyone to do well.”