A Glance at Mayor Styron’s 90-Day Goals
We sat down with Mayor Emily Styron to discuss her 90-day forecast as her first quarter in this administration is well underway. During her inauguration address, Styron shared with her constituents the guiding principles that she and her staff will be operating from throughout her tenure as mayor of Zionsville.
Mayor Styron’s Guiding Principles
“These guiding principles are the core from which we operate from,” Styron said. “These [principles] are what the community can expect from us and hold us accountable for. Throughout the precampaign planning and campaign processes, these were the things that people from the community expressed were important to them.”
- We value our sense of community.
- We are responsive and proactive.
- We are engaged and available for community input.
- We are transparent and accountable regarding the business of the town.
- We are forward-thinking and collaborative with residents, business owners, school representatives, community partners, service providers and neighboring communities.
- We use data to measure value of public services in quantifiable terms and to identify areas of opportunity to improve.
- We explore a variety of options to maintain public land and provide programming opportunities.
The First 90 Days
Mayor Styron shared her first 90 days’ areas of focus and initiatives during our conversation. As the transition period continues and Styron meets with all the department heads to implement her administration’s internal administration and organization strategies, the mayor and her staff have hit the ground running on economic development initiatives and are actively engaging the Economic Development, Redevelopment and Plan commissions as well as the Boone County Economic Development Corporation.
Mayor’s Action Center
“There is a lot of opportunity, and I am incredibly excited about it,” Styron said. “We are professionalizing and upgrading the general administration in the first 30 days. Our job is to identify and always have a good sense of what the community expects from its municipal government services. So, how do we make sure that we have a really good understanding of what the community needs from us? We provide the Mayor’s Action Center—the one single place that no matter what your question, need or issue is, if the town government provides it or is a physical facilitator for it, you can go to the Mayor’s Action Center for assistance. We are going to realign the way we do our business based on our customer [taxpayer] and not based on our preexisting structure. It’s going to be like ripping a giant Band-Aid off at once. It’s not going to be easy, and we’re starting [this term] with some hard things. There is only ‘up’ from here.”
One of the issues that Styron discussed throughout her campaign was to look at installing more and more effective pedestrian crosswalks where needed.
“This is a big deal for me and is a campaign goal—we’re going to look at where pedestrian crosswalks are needed and how they’re going to be prioritized,” Styron stated. “There are three different styles [of crosswalks] that we are going to evaluate in terms of cost options and effectiveness. One includes a lower-cost option that is a crosswalk created by three-dimensional paint. It basically creates an optical illusion—with paint—on the ground that looks raised, so you naturally start to slow down.”
Creekside Corporate Park Recruitment
“Julie [Johns-Cole] and I are working to attract businesses and work through their obstacles so that we can bring to their businesses to Creekside,” Styron said. “It’s been six years [developed] already, and it’s time to price this according to the market. We are going to eliminate the barriers as much as can.”
The mayor announced a rather aggressive goal for Creekside. Styron said, “I would love to have five new businesses in [Creekside] in the administration’s first year.”
Redevelopment Projects and Parking
The majority of people understand that any mayor’s office has limited influence over utility companies and is at the utilities’ mercy when it comes to installing and relocating lines. However, Mayor Styron has proposed an initiative to bury the utility lines to create more redevelopment opportunities as well as decrease maintenance issues and service interruptions.
“I want to bury [the utility] lines, which opens up more opportunities,” Styron said. “The Economic Redevelopment Commission and town council play a role in these goals, which is why it’s a partnership in terms of achieving these goals. I really want to focus on the ‘entryway.’ The redevelopment of our entryway needs to be the first order of business because that’s what will really have the biggest economic impact. There are some real issues that we are going to have to work through, but it’s time to really look at how we are going to get these projects done.”
The mayor addressed the ever-popular topic of parking in downtown Zionsville—specifically on Main Street.
“To some degree, the redevelopment of the entryway piece needs to have a public parking component,” Styron said. “The utility lines are a barrier, so burying them opens our vertical options. I don’t know to what degree the water table issues will be digging down, but I would love to see the parking lot that the town owns now turned into something that is more vertical. We will analyze our physical infrastructure needs, which will take time to implement. We’re looking for incremental progress where we can find it. We’re not waiting for the ‘perfect’ solution to drop in our laps. We can have an iterative approach to solving some of these problems, and that iteration means the first solution may not be the most desirable, but it will ease our pain.”
State of the Town Address
The mayor plans to give her first State of the Town address in February—date to be determined—to discuss her 90-day outline and progress report in more detail.
“In future years, we’ll hold these [addresses] in January because we’ll have a whole year to talk about,” Styron said. “We will invite the community, stream it live, and it will be an opportunity for Julie and me to talk about what we’re setting out to do and how we are setting ourselves up to achieve our goals.”
Be sure to follow Town of Zionsville on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming announcements or visit the town’s website for updates and announcements at zionsville-in.gov.