The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

The student news site of George Rogers Clark High School

Smoke Signals Student Media

Mayor JoEllen Reed: Why not Winchester?

Mayor JoEllen Reed and Smoke Signals Managing Editor Joby Mitmesser

All cities have their struggles: Poverty. Violence. Neglect. Disconnection within the community. Lack of positive influence.

Mayor JoEllen Reed is transforming Winchester slowly, focusing her positive mindset and amazing future advancements to eliminate as many of these issues as possible.

I had the amazing opportunity to see exactly how our city functions and learn about the change that will develop over the next few months and years.

Touring the town with Mayor Reed, I discovered the attributes of Winchester that are being improved, changing the city in many positive ways.   

For starters, many of the departments in Winchester are receiving new technology which are working toward improving the safety of all who live in the city.

The Winchester Police Department purchased a new mode of transportation as well as improving the police cruisers that we have now. Electric Bikes have been added to the arsenal to implement a faster way to reach the needs of people in the city.

The cruisers sometimes struggle with traffic and the crowded alleyways that connect the city so this change will “increase the response time, saving lives,” says Chief of Police James Hall.

Our local fire departments work with the staff at the police station to quickly assess issues received by the police and apply quick action to best create the safest situation for our citizens.

“We have outstanding responders for this community,” says Mayor Reed. “I would put them up against anybody in the world.”

I witnessed the police receiving an emergency call, forwarding it, and sending safety department emergency vehicles immediately to the location that resolved the issue in the next 10 minutes of my tour.

Our safety departments do an amazing job protecting our citizens and keeping our town danger free.

Winchester’s roads and sidewalks will be receiving a massive rework, set to start in the next year, that will not only improve the appearance and efficiency, but also attract businesses to grow the Winchester economy.

“Improving the ‘High Side of Main’ is a critical component to keep our downtown alive,” says Mayor Reed. “I learned from a former mentor, there are three things that attract business – good health care, good schools, and a vibrant downtown.”

Downtown is working to add additional buildings to complete the area including partnering in recruiting a grocery store and establishing an entertainment district.

Creating a community in the downtown area is one of the major goals for Mayor Reed and her team.

Enhancing the look of downtown isn’t the only plan for our town. Community events such as festivals are set to increase by 10% to supply more opportunities for
citizens to be more involved and step foot onto the new future downtown makeover.

Furthermore, another major topic of discussion to improve Winchester is to accommodate for the younger generation of citizens.

“More entertainment is in the works,” says Mayor Reed. “A potential bowling alley and arcade are future plans to have our kids in the community involved and staying in Winchester! I am going to work throughout next year to hopefully bring a skating rink for the holidays, which I’m making some contacts for right now.”

Parks and Recreation areas are receiving some work as well as future implements include adding a splash pad, the expansion of current parks, and the possibility of building an outdoor community swimming pool, depending on its feasibility.

Additionally, there are plans to impact the issue of homelessness in the community of Winchester.

A sector of downtown Winchester is going to be used to build quality housing for groups of citizens who have been living without homes.

Mayor Reed is working to make progress in providing low-income or wage-based housing, by transforming dilapidated properties into affordable housing. This will heavily impact the homeless allowing for them to not stress about housing and focus on working and supplying for other basic needs.

The phrase “Why Not Winchester” is Mayor Reed’s slogan. All the changes in Winchester will result in a transformation to an even more beautiful town drawing in many companies and different types of people.

Mayor Reed loves the purpose of this phrase and the impact it will have on the community. As she says:

“When people are looking for a great community, great schools, a great health care system and a vibrant downtown – WHY NOT WINCHESTER?”

Fire Chief Chris Whiteley and Mayor Reed discuss future plans for Winchester. (Photo by Joby Mitmesser)
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About the Contributor
Joby Mitmesser
Joby Mitmesser, Managing Editor
Hey! My name is Joby Mitmesser and I am THE BETTER Managing Editor for the Smoke Signals media team. My favorite activity is eating pounds of food and not sharing that food with others! I love playing sports with my friends, and I am a part of the Cardinal soccer team where I play center back. My favorite artist would have to be Taylor Swift; her music is honestly just superior. Playing Rook is one of the best ways to pass time throughout a boring day. If you ever need a Rook partner, email me… I am your guy. Shoutout Liam, my partner in crime. #ALL IN!

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