There is one truth about change…it is constant and it is and will always be with us. Yes, change is something we all face day to day, and we are now facing it here in the City of Piqua with our City Manager, Gary Huff’s recent announcement that he has accepted a position as City Manager in Ashland, Kentucky. As Gary has said this is the only position that would have taken him away from Piqua, since it will put Gary back in the community that is very close to where he grew up. In Ashland, Gary and his wife Janet will be close to family and long-time friends. On behalf of the City of Piqua, I want to wish them the best in all that lies ahead in this new and exciting chapter.
The truth is that we were lucky to have Gary for as long as we did. Gary has been a huge asset to the City of Piqua, and under his tenure here we have seen quite a lot of progress! Gary’s philosophy of a “Quality of Life” has been a big part of his vision for us as a community and one that will continue to move us into what is next. We are on an uphill climb and I know that we will not miss a beat, since we have great staff here in our city to keep the momentum going! Gary helped us all see and grab onto our vision of the “Quality of Life” we have here in Piqua! He articulated this vision to us, the citizens of Piqua, in many different ways over these last 5 + years. Gary has been one of our biggest cheerleaders and he helped to bring about many positive changes for the City of Piqua. We can see evidence of this throughout our city, and the truth is that we will continue to see evidence of Gary’s leadership even after he is gone with projects that began under his tenure are completed.
Gary has been instrumental in his strategic planning initiatives that raised the expectations for our community appearance through proactive code enforcement and improved infrastructure. Gary has helped us to identify and promote the wonderful assets we have here in our community, which is shown in the redevelopment initiative of our Riverfront. Our Public Safety programs have improved and we continue to look into new ways to promote energy and environmental opportunities here within our city. This only lists a small part of what Gary has done and has meant to us. Yes, Gary was a dedicated City Manager. He became one of us very quickly and he waved our flag everywhere he went!
Gary will be dearly missed by us all, but I want to remind our citizens that Gary leaves us in very good hands. We have a fantastic staff here in the City of Piqua and they know how to continue on. Our city employees really are one of our greatest assets and at times like this, especially, we must remind ourselves of this truth.
We talk a lot about “Quality Life” here in Piqua, and we do have a quality life here. It is up to each one of us to get off the couch and enjoy it! It has been exciting to watch Piqua become an Active Living community, because we do not need to look very far to see our citizens out and about – living actively on a daily basis. We even see folks out running in cold and snowy weather, just because they have the passion and desire to be active and stay active!
We all hear over and over again that being physically active is important to improve our health and to reduce our risk of developing physical diseases. We also have been told that being physically active has many immediate and long-term health benefits and that regular physical activity can even improve our quality of life! So, it is easy to say that one of the main reasons to get out and be active is to have a quality of life that we can enjoy for many, many years!
We are very lucky to live where we do because we have all sorts of opportunities to get out and be active right outside our front doors. We have over 13 miles of a paved path right here in our community where we can bike, run, and walk. Our paved path is part of the longest path network in entire country, and it is right here in our own backyard! We are seeing more and more of our citizens getting active and as the weather warms up we will see even more out living actively in many parts of our community. In our warmer months, we even see our citizens working out in our local parks and yoga happening in some of our downtown public spaces. Wow, Piqua! We are a Active Living community!
We also have a National Water Trail flowing right through our community as the Great Miami River was designated as a National Water Trail last year. The Buckeye Trail, which is part of the North Country trail, goes right through our community as well. So in addition to biking, running, and walking…our citizens can also hike, paddle, and kayak right here where they live! I have lived in other places where I had to travel quite a distance to hike or paddle my kayak, and one of the many great things about Piqua is that we can do it right here where we live… never having to travel very far to get out and be active!
Yes, we are an Active Living community and I have not even begun to mention our swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, the YMCA & YWCA and all they, and many other fitness centers right here in our community, offer to help our citizens be and stay active. And, from time to time we even see water-skiers on the Great Miami River!
Here in the great City of Piqua, we have so many places and ways to get out and be active! We have a “Quality Life” here in the City of Piqua, so get out and enjoy it. Active Living is who we are, so get out and BE ACTIVE! Active Living…THIS. Is Piqua!