Port St. has seen Lucie has gone through a lot of changes in the past few years, and there may be more on the way.
The city announced Monday that its current city manager, Russ Blackburn, is retiring early next year.
“I felt like this was a really good time for me because we’ve accomplished a lot in the transition to retirement,” Blackburn, 69, said. “We are a better city through the hard work of hundreds of people, and great leadership from the mayor and City Council.”
Blackburn is the city manager for Port St. Lucie for six years. He has been in local government for 47 years.
He said one of the biggest challenges in Port St. Lucie is balancing the real growth of the city while still trying to maintain a good life for the people who live here.
“This is a great city,” Blackburn said. “It’s an honor to have someone appointed as the city manager here. There’s a lot going on, we have a lot of issues as a growing city and all the ways to make Port St. Lucy.”
Blackburn will be awarded for major projects such as the development of the South Grove corridor, the completion of the Crosstown Parkway and the sale of City Hall property.
In his time, Blackburn said, the city has grown from 180,000 residents to 225,000-plus, with more on the way.
“This plant just exploded here and I don’t know,” said Anthony Oakes, a 42-year resident. “Where are we with all the traffic, never mind all the other issues?”
UPDATE: Port St. Louis officials have prepared Lucie for more traffic as the population increases
According to Blackburn, the city is expected to nearly double in size and reach over 400,000 people.
“It’s not a sleepy town. I get it,” Oakes said. “It’s supposed to grow and everything, they’re doing well here, but, you know, crime is on the rise in our little town. You hear the cries every now and then. all of them. Where are all the animals going? They’re going to clear all the forests there.”
Because of all the growth and marketing, Oakes is considering moving to a smaller part of Florida.
For others, like Port St. Louis business owner Wayne Goldsmith. Lucie, with her yacht charter and heating company, is growing well for business.
“Everybody that builds these houses puts in HVAC. They put in air conditioning and a lot of things like that, so, you know, that’s a good thing,” he said.
Goldsmith said his challenge is to keep up with demand, as supplies remain scarce. Hopefully the city manager can focus on the traffic issues.
February 17 is Blackburn’s last day as city manager. The city will discuss next steps to fill his position in January.
“I know I do things around the house like most people do, but I look to the community for volunteer opportunities, ways to get involved,” she said. talk.
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