New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a New Year's message Monday, saying that "being your mayor has been a great joy of my life" and citing a laundry list of accomplishments during 2017 and since he took office in 2010.
Even though he will leave office in four months, he sounded almost in campaign mode.
"For the past seven and a half years, together, we have accomplished so much — and for that we ought to be proud," Landrieu said.
He cited creation in 2017 of a "rainy day" savings fund for city government and news that DXC Technology will bring 2,000 "high-paying jobs, the largest investment of jobs in our city's recent history — that’s huge."
He also mentioned graduation in 2017 of the 300th participant from a workforce readiness program, Strive Nola; uniting workforce development and economic opportunity efforts through a merger with the NOLA Business Alliance; and the deal to transfer the Public Belt Railroad to the Port of New Orleans in exchange for control of two French Quarter wharves, all designed "to spur job growth."
In 2017, Landrieu said, the city's recreation department received national accreditation for the first time in its history — "confirming that our facilities and programming are world-class. We opened new recreation facilities and launched our Bike Share program. We also unveiled the city’s Climate Action Strategy to prepare New Orleans for the future."
The mayor further cited a police pay raise and opening of a "real time crime center" for monitoring new cameras and license plate readers.
"We also made a decision to be a forward-looking city and dismiss the divisive and painful relics of a bygone era in our country’s history by removing four Confederate-era statues. Our city has embraced our diversity, our greatest strength," he declared. "Together, we have rebuilt a broken city and took a huge step toward healing a hurting nation."
Not everyone, to be sure, would agree that the long controversy over removing the Confederate monuments helped heal either the city or the nation.
However, Landrieu said, "As we enter 2018 and celebrate New Orleans' 300th anniversary, I look forward to continuing to work with each of you to continue to build the city of our dreams and lay a stronger foundation for our future."
Whether he has some political office in mind in which to continue that work is the question.