Provo Mayor John Curtis promised to make the most of his last months as mayor in his final State of the City address at Provo High School on Thursday, Jan. 19.
“My experience is that life is full of last opportunities, and one of our stewardships is to make the most of those opportunities,” Curtis said. “And such is mine to make the most of this last year.”
The gathering began with a video skit of Curtis and Provo High School Student Body President Samuel Lee. The two jokingly acted as if Lee was the mayor and Curtis was a Provo teenager. After Curtis claimed being mayor is easy, Lee challenged Curtis to fill his shoes and act as mayor for the day.
Lee introduced Curtis before the main address.
“He’s constantly made himself known in our community in the most humble way,” Lee said.
With the setting of Provo High School and the large student body present at the address, Curtis began his address with stories about his own experience in high school.
“Decisions that seem to be very inconsequential could potentially have lasting impact, like your junior prom date,” Curtis, who ended up marrying his junior prom date, said.
Mayor Curtis said the students of Provo were in his mind when he made plans for the city.
“I want you to know that I feel like it is my single most important responsibility to make sure that the Provo that you students inherit is fiscally strong, well planned and still maintains that magic feel that we enjoy in the air,” Curtis said.
Curtis’ address included a short video explaining city officials’ goals for the upcoming year. It mentioned exploring possibilities for replacing the City Center Public Safety Building, along with transportation improvements.
Mayor Curtis acknowledged in the video that public transportation projects come with pain and controversy for some residents.
“We can’t take this lightly, but at the same time, we need to push forward with these difficult decisions to ensure that the students of today can enjoy the same congestion-free roads that we have now,” Curtis said in the video.
The video also announced Provo City will hire a full-time parking coordinator for the first time.
Provo High School Principal Karen Brown gave a short address following Mayor Curtis.
“You’re the kind of leader that I seek to be, that I’m striving to be, that I’m learning to become, and I thank you for that,” Brown said addressing Curtis.
Brown presented Mayor Curtis with a bronze bulldog, a traditional Provo High School honor.
While Lee prepared to wrap up the meeting with closing remarks, Mayor Curtis stood and tapped Lee on the shoulder, whispering something in his ear.
“We’ve forgotten something,” Curtis said into the microphone. “This has been far too serious. Are you ready to loosen up a bit?”
Curtis pulled out a T-shirt canon from beneath the podium and began shooting shirts and socks into the audience.
A video of the full event is on Provo City’s Facebook Page.