So much is happening for the holidays in Key West

Key West Mayor Teri Johnston joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s been going on in the city.

The lighting of the holiday tree at Bayview Park will be tonight at 6 p.m.

Johnston said, “We’ll be welcoming everyone to Bayview Park. This is the first official sighting of Santa. So that’s going to be very exciting because Santa always arrives on a Key West firetruck. So we’ll have that lighting tonight. Then we move right into something that’s very important for all of us in Key West and the Lower Keys is the burning of the flag to signify the end of hurricane season and we couldn’t welcome anything more than the end of that. So on Thursday, we’ll be burning that flag. On Friday I’m going to be in Marathon at the invitation of Mayor Raschein. Every year the mayors of the Monroe County get together and we speak to the class of Leadership Monroe, and we just have some terrific discussions because although we’re all in the Lower Keys, we all have a few different challenges as communities here. They pull together such a fascinating group of people for leadership Monroe that we have some great conversations. Then I’m going to drive back from Marathon in order to be here for the walk to recognize World AIDS Day. We will be leaving City Hall at four o’clock and marching to the AIDS Memorial where there’ll be a number of speeches and we recognize those who have lost their lives this year that HIV AIDS. So that will be Friday.”

Saturday will be the holiday parade.

Johnston said, “We certainly look forward to that. But after that also we don’t want to forget that December 9, the local Kia dealership has a Family Day out at Truman Waterfront Park, which is free for all families. They just do a great job. Then on December 10, we’re going to have the lighting of the menorah at Bayview Park. All of those come before our final meeting of the year, which is December 14 as the City Commission and we will be meeting again in the morning and in the afternoon.”

The proposed evacuation timeline might be discussed at the mayor’s meeting.

Johnston said, “I think the citizens of Key West have a real keen awareness because we’re the first exit point. I mean, we have to get on that road first in order to be able to get out of the Keys as all the municipalities are moving people out onto our two lane highway to evacuate. So it’s of keen interest to the city of Key West. We’ve talked about that a lot. My job as mayor of city Key West, is health and safety of our citizens and being able to get everyone out of here in a reasonable period of time to safety if we need to. So I’m very interested in that. In 2012, I was honored to be part of the hurricane evacuation committee. Depending on where you’re at, along US 1, you have a little differing viewpoint on that and mine is we’ve got to be able to get everybody out safely. That’s got to be our first and foremost priority and everything follows that.”

The triangle work is still ongoing.

Johnston said, “We had some traffic snarling there, even though we gave everybody about a month’s notice that we were going to be working out there. We have moved it to evening hours. So we’re going to pay a little bit more, but we’re going to do in the evening. So we try to minimize the interruptions in getting in and out of Key West. So that’s going to be ongoing here, I believe for at least another week. They’re moving trees. They’re taking off the top layer of grass in order to start our plantings, but it’s just going to be a beautiful entrance. I think once we get it underway, and once people see how beautiful it’s going to be, it’s worth a little traffic.”

With the upcoming City Commission meeting, will the two nominees for the housing authority be discussed?

Johnston said, “I have been working on that. We certainly need to get replacements in there. That’s been my long term objective. We will continue to move forward on it.”

It’s important to support local businesses.

Johnston said, “I think that’s probably the message that I’d like to leave most. They have been here for us for 364 days of the year. So let’s make sure that we that we recognize them and support them as we go into the holiday season.”