Thursday night, the City of Geneva is hosted an event to honor departing City Manager Matt Horn. In December, Horn announced he would be leaving the Finger Lakes to join a consulting firm in Washington DC. In reflecting on his decade-long tenure with the City, Horn was especially proud of the $10-Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Grant.
“In true Geneva form, one hundred percent collaborative with partners from everywhere getting on board before we even had the money. It’s very typical that once you get a big allocation you have a lot of friends who show up, but we had a lot of friends who helped us do the work to get there. We’re doing exactly what the Governor hoped we would. We’re taking $10 Million, we’ve got $30 Million committed that been leveraged, so that stands out.”
Horn is leaving a city that has been experiencing downtown growth that has drawn regional and national attention. But, the City struggles with a growing poverty rate. Horn hopes the next City Manager shares his commitment to growth and prosperity for all residents of Geneva.
“Financial well-being is great and certainly as an organization we need to balance the book and we need to have money in reserves and we’ve done that, but we have an environmental responsibility we have to live up to. The reason why our books are balanced the way they are is because economic development has been tremendous in the last ten years, fifteen years and that has everything to do with the lakes and with this setting we’re sitting here in the middle of. So, someone needs to be passionate about that and they need to realize the social responsibility. Of course, the quickest way to move a poverty rate from twenty-five percent to fifteen percent is to just import a bunch of millionaires and build up the lakefront and put a bunch of condos there that are five million, six million dollar condos and then all of a sudden you’ve got a lower poverty rate, but you’ve still got those three thousand people who wake up hungry every day.”
The City has announced that Director of of Neighborhood Initiatives Sage Gerling will have the title of interim city manager, but will perform those duties in partnership with the city clerk and city comptroller.