Monroe mayor speaks to growth, compassion

Mayor Geoffrey Thomas presents the State of the City at The Rock Church on April 9, 2024.

Mayor Geoffrey Thomas presents the State of the City at The Rock Church on April 9, 2024.
Photo by Michael Whitney.

MONROE — Mayor Geoffrey Thomas reflected on how Monroe has worked to serve each of its 20,000 residents in his 2024 State of the City address April 9.

Tying his 35-minute address to the city’s vision statement “Imagine Monroe,” Thomas spoke to the efforts to maintain a safe and welcoming city for all.

Thomas spoke candidly before an audience of about 80 people at The Rock Church.

He shared how the city is continuing to grow, how the city is working to maintain its parks, and that the future City Hall is in progress. New pickleball courts are coming to Sky River Park, and there will be new playgrounds at Blueberry Park and Currie View Park.

He highlighted how the city now has a large calendar of community events. He noted Monroe is conducting a downtown parking study and will install a crosswalk beacon to make a safer crossing on North Kelsey Street near Walmart.

He praised how Monroe Police has an embedded social worker who does case work with people experiencing homelessness.

“While we still very much hold people accountable when they break the law, we also will meet with them” to try to get them help to avoid repeatedly returning to jail, Thomas said.

He spoke to how in four years, the city acted on human services needs in six interwoven focal areas. He highlighted how the city now has a mobile mental health response program, a municipal court that includes offering alternatives to jail on misdemeanors, housing assistance programs for people experiencing homelessness and that Monroe has a full-time Human Services Coordinator who has found grants that brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for these efforts.

“We have resources and we should be able to help people,” he said.

The audience also saw a version of Monroe’s tentative future logo, which has a blue and white palette, with a stylized, sweeping “M.”

Thomas said the stylized “M” could resemble the mountains and valleys, or it could look like the city’s official bird a Vaux’s Swift, or it could resemble Evergreen Speedway’s racing flags. 

“When I look at this, I see vision, I see strength,” Thomas said.

The new look could be rolled out over the next few months, he said. It would replace a logo introduced about 12 years ago.

Lastly, Thomas reiterated his call to improve state Route 522, imploring people to always ask legislators and political candidates on what they are doing to fix 522.

Thomas was elected mayor in 2013. He was on the City Council from 2004 to 2008.

Hear the Tribune's recording of the 2024 Monroe State of the City speech

See the State of the City presentation slides (external link to the city webpage)