There is something unique about our community. Clovis local government is viewed as an accessible, “local” resource, not some gigantic bureaucracy where there is little response and less action. When I speak with Clovis residents individually at the grocery store or at a school activity, they always end up saying something like “Clovis feels manageable” or “I called City Hall and they talked to me about it” or “I emailed so and so about it and they connected me with the right person.”
So what are the community distinctions about Clovis that make a difference? With the rise of chain stores, “big box” retail centers, and global branding, it is becoming harder and harder for communities to distinguish themselves.
But, fundamentally, Clovis residents do NOT believe their community is the same as other places in our Valley.
Our population is approaching 100,000. We are maintaining our Old Town, reinvesting in our older neighborhoods like the Historic Helm Ranch area in Southwest Clovis, creating new neighborhoods with distinct identities through our “urban villages” strategy, and adding new living wage jobs each year.
The Shaw Avenue Committee is a model collaborative for productive work between government and the private sector. It informally operates as a business improvement district, adding marketing signage, improving landscaping, and renewing private sector commitment in the corridor.
When you ask folks why they moved to Clovis, they will always tell you one of two things, each of which speaks to the power of fundamental competency as a core value: schools and public safety.
Clovis residents also demand that the people who make decisions for them be good stewards of water and land – today and for the next generation.
To keep our community involved, we have worked aggressively and have learned a lot about citizen engagement and communication. In Clovis, small groups of citizens can still make a significant difference.
As Clovis has been dealing with change over the last few decades, our residents have been saying clearly and loudly that they want the values reflected in our Clovis community identity and our shared way of life to remain at the core of our decision making.
These are uncertain times in our world, difficult times for our country, and almost unmanageable financial times for California and its cities. Yet, even as we begin dealing with the changes and new constraints of the next few years, our residents are still telling me they want to avoid the degradation other cities has quietly allowed over the years – they want Clovis to maintain our distinct community identity, our standards of personal service, and our shared way of life.
Those important community distinctions remain at the core of my decision making.