A year ago, Mayor Carl Brewer used his State of the City speech to tell Wichita that everyone would have to share in the pain of a struggling economy, and that the city would press forward with plans to revitalize downtown.
He was right.
Pretty much everyone struggled — and the city contracted with a Boston-based firm to create a 20-year downtown revitalization plan.
His speech from City Hall at 6 tonight is likely to strike similar tones.
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In a brief interview Monday, Brewer said he'd use this year's address to show Wichita what was accomplished in 2009 and what to expect in 2010.
"This past year has been tough," Brewer said. "We've had to fight through a lot of things."
He said the speech will touch on efforts to recruit new businesses and retain the ones already here.
"Quite naturally, aviation is going to be a challenge," said Brewer, who worked at Spirit AeroSystems until he was elected mayor in 2007.
Brewer will also talk about what other cities have done with their downtowns and what initiatives might foster growth in Wichita's.
In past speeches, Brewer has listed off accomplishments, pressed for more transparency in government, shared crime statistics and a told few human interest stories.
It's unclear if he'll unveil any new programs or projects in this year's speech.
The "exciting news" he broke in last year's speech never blossomed.
Brewer announced plans for a new downtown YMCA on the east bank of the Arkansas River.
That deal fell through after some complained about the city transferring prime riverfront real estate to the Y.
The Y decided to rebuild on its current site on North Market.
In 2008, Brewer announced that two new businesses — Funny Bone Comedy Club and Wet Willies restaurant and daiquiri bar — would join Saddle Ranch Chop House at the WaterWalk.
Saddle Ranch backed out and the status of Funny Bone and Wet Willies is unknown.
Asked if he would bring up the proposed Lord's Diner satellite location to feed the homeless in northeast Wichita — a controversial issue that led to a stalemate — Brewer declined to say much.
"We haven't given up on it," he said.