Florence City Manager Drew Griffin spoke about how the city has evolved over the past 10 years at the Chambers Community Legislative Breakfast. The event was held at the Florence Center.
By removing a junkyard that stood where Hope Health Medical Center in North Florence is, the city saw the beginning of a much needed change per Griffin.
“North Florence felt that the junkyard symbolized a divide in between a developing South and West Florence and a non-developing North, East, and Northwest and East Florence. That junkyard came to symbolize more than just a junkyard,” he said.
It symbolized the beginning of modernization in Florence. According to Griffin, the removal helped people realize the entire city would receive updates instead of just certain areas.
So far, the city has worked on downtown and neighborhood developments. They are also renovating the neighborhood park system and making healthy foods accessible through the farmers market.
Griffin said he’s always dreamed of making the city diverse, healthy and comfortable.
“In urban spaces, I like the concept of place-making, which is creating places where people gather and enjoy their friends. They come down after work or on a weekend and they relate to one another, and we have acceptance of other people’s opinions,” he said.
While in his leadership position, Florence has received six rewards for economic and public development.
Tim Norwood owns Victor’s in Florence. At the breakfast, he congratulated Griffin for helping the city transform.
“He’s full of knowledge and an innovative thinker. He’s been instrumental in creating and helping create the downtown and the growth we’re having in Florence across all our neighborhoods,” Norwood said.