by A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia
I remember one of my first real conversations with our City Clerk Robyn Herndon; it was probably July 6 or 7, 2011. It was the week after I had been sworn in as the interim mayor. The Sunbeam Springs water line was just finished and the new water tower was in progress, the new waste water treatment plant was under construction and we were in the planning stages of the downtown revitalization project. Plus, I had all of my summer FFA and school responsibilities. It had been a long day and it wasn’t over when I asked her, “Is this normal?” She smiled and said, “No, but it will slowdown.” I smile back, “When?” Referring to the major projects she said, “When everything is done.”
That was six-and-a-half years ago. Those projects are long done; but as Robyn and I completed a meeting that went past 6 p.m. last Tuesday I looked back and wondered where the time had gone. Folks often ask me what it’s like being mayor and my standard response it that it is never boring. There is always something going on that requires attention and direction. Much of it would bore you to death if I were to write about it. Looking back at Thanksgiving last week I am so appreciative of the city employees and their continued efforts on our behalf. I think oftentimes that what they contribute goes unnoticed; I won’t say unappreciated because they are not. However, sometimes it is human nature not to notice things that just routinely happen. Those things and the people responsible for them only get noticed when things don’t happen.
Case in point, your water and wastewater flow 24-7-365 unless they don’t; then they are noticed. To a lesser extreme, adult volleyball, a perennial favorite winter activity, and kindergarten through 3rd grade basketball starts in December. Times and dates are dependent on gym availability. Volleyball could be as late as 8 or 8:30 pm. depending again on availability. I hope the time doesn’t cause a drop in participation.
While scheduling our organized recreational activities and coaching high school boys’ basketball, Parks Superintendent Chris Fehringer with the help of the street department, placed a new vault toilet next to the Willow Bay boat ramp last week which will be much more convenient for boaters next year. Our thanks is extended to the Power County Waterways for making this project possible. Fehringer also continues to work with various funding agencies and the Bureau of Reclamation on grants to improve the Willow Bay trail system, remodel or rebuild the café and other amenities that will increase the popularity and use of these facilities
Brett Hensley of the water and wastewater department, who has a knack for construction, worked with golf Superintendent Cody Moldenhauer last week and fixed the leaking roof panels in one of the golf cart storage units while also repairing its back wall and the front doors and making it and its contents ready for winter. I greatly appreciate collaborative efforts such as this and those above at Willow Bay. As a city, they allow us to be so much more productive and proactive.
We should see our first disaster relief check for the damage done to our streets last winter sometime in the next month or so as I signed the first of nearly 20 pay requests last week. I believe for the most part Daren Dahlke and the street department are ready for winter as more snow is expected towards the end of this week and into December.
This Saturday, Dec. 2, marks the date for the annual Chamber of Commerce “Light the Spirit Within” Christmas festival. All of the TV commercials and general commercialization of the season aside this annual festival and its concluding concert at Saint John’s Church really begin the holiday season for me. Looking back on Robyn’s answer of, “When everything is done,” I realize that everything will never be done if we are to keep improving as a community and, like the holiday season, I welcome that.
Until next week…
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