From the Desk of the Mayor May 2023
What a beautiful month it has been! Families, children, seniors, and individuals from all walks are out and about in our great city enjoying, recreating and soaking in the spring. Things are looking bright and I am hopeful for continued blessings for our city and community.
Last December, when City Council met with our state legislative lobbyist team and our district state legislators to set the city’s state legislative agenda, we could not have known the blessings of today for our community. Through struggle and strife, months of haggling and advocating for our state legislative priorities, at the end of the session, our state legislators were able to help satisfy a very important legislative priority for the city- the replacement of the Windemere neighborhood playground and picnic shelter. This intentional advocacy will help alleviate the stress of our city budget by $155k for the regularly scheduled replacement of one of our older playgrounds. The community as a whole will also benefit greatly from legislative advocacy because of the following local enhancements: Mint Valley Golf Course irrigation improvements, Library capital improvements, a new Cloney Park inclusive playground, the Lower Columbia College Vocational Center and baseball stadium, and the Community House on Broadway Youth Emergency Shelter, and for all of this, we are ecstatic and grateful.
This past month Councilmember Ruth Kendall, Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Wallin, City Manager Kris Swanson and I met with our Federal Lobbyist Team, Joel Rubin and Page Strickler of CFM Advocates in Washington DC to further maintain and develop personal relationships with our Washington State members of Congress, Federal Agencies and their staff and advocate for projects and priorities on our city’s federal legislative agenda. Our number one city priority, which has gained momentum, is to advocate for funding towards a Dedicated Water Fill Line to Water Reservoir Project, Phase 1, to help further improve ongoing water quality and supply issues. The federal investment if awarded would go towards directing the preferred water main route from the Mint Farm Water Treatment Facility to the main reservoirs located on Alexia Court (in the Cascade Way hillside area) and at Mt. Solo Reservoir, preparing preliminary engineering design, and public outreach assistance. Councilmember Ruth Kendall has been a steadfast advocate of this project and helped lead our group while in Washington DC.
Our Washington DC city team lead with great enthusiasm for our city projects! We learned much from the Department of Justice, COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) regarding opportunities for micro-grant programs that provide seed monies for “next steps” within communities compromised with behavioral health needs. During our visit with the Environmental Protection Agency, we learned of additional opportunities, particularly the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which could be beneficial moving forward with the Dedicated Water Fill Line to Water Reservoir Project.
I am honored to serve as Longview’s Mayor and to be a part of a well working team that cares about the city. Working effectively as a council team for the betterment of the city and community is a joy! Special thanks are due to our State Legislators, Representative Jim Walsh, Representative Joel McEntire and Senator Jeff Wilson as well as our Federal Legislators US Senator Patty Murray, US Senator Maria Cantwell and US House Representative Marie Gluesenkamp Perez for their advocacy on behalf of the City of Longview in this year’s legislative session.
Blessings to all this lovely spring.
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis