The amount and pace of economic change affecting our national, state and local governments has caused me to think once again about the notion of community stewardship: the idea of choosing ‘service over self-interest.’
Our community has been fortunate because this concept of stewardship is personified in Clovis’ rich tradition of community-focused families like Sassano, Smittcamp, Rogers, Cook, Harlan, Ikeda, MacFarlane, Sandoval, Takahashi and many more. Through nearly a century of our existence, these and many other individuals and families have provided the civic foundation that has guided our community.
Maybe it is because of this strong, consistent civic stewardship that we have also had the good fortune that the majority of our elected officials throughout history not only embraced those same community values and civic commitments, but reflected them in their visionary decision-making, as well.
Today we are all enjoying community benefits that are the legacy of choices made long ago by Clovis’ previous generations of elected officials. We owe today’s community to former council members and mayors like Prindiville, King, Bos, Wynne, Hamlin and Waterston. When asked about their most important decisions and the lessons they learned from them, their answers were consistently similar:
- Make decisions that will stand up 30, 40, 50 years from now.
- Work hard, focus, and don’t spend money you don’t have.
- Preserve the core of our city and our individuality as a significant city in our own right.
- Honoring our traditions always informs good choices.
- Set high expectations and accept nothing less from yourself, the Council, the staff and the community.
- Resisting influence or pressure is always a wise choice and making decisions based on individual political ambition rarely is.
- Keep talking about differences.
What I hear from Clovis residents and business owners are that they expect three simple things from local government:
Competence. Results. Humanity.
And while the confidence in State and federal government to deliver these is quite low, residents still have very high expectations for Clovis.
“I like that Clovis is safe.” “I like that Clovis is clean.” “I like that Clovis works.” “Just do the basics well.” These are the sentiments I hear from citizens every day. With the growth and rapid pace of change that we are facing in Clovis, there is plenty to keep us busy on the City Council without spending time, energy or other resources on issues for which we are not accountable and that we cannot resolve for the benefit of all local residents.
Now more than ever, our community and its elected officials need to work together to maintain our focus on Clovis issues within our power to manage – the very thing that has brought us the success we have experienced to date.