From the Desk of the Mayor August 2023
When in the middle of a heat wave, it is hard to remember months past when water flowed freely down city streets and soggy leaves clogged up gutters from heavy winter rains. But, what a sunshiny fun-filled summer it has been!
If every day could be filled with lazy evening concerts and movies at the lake, Squirrel Fests and Go Fourth festivals for days, fairs and ice cream cones, how blissful it would be! But alas, we must have the occasional sewer line break, random large oak tree falling, endless potholes (likely created by heavy rainfall from winter), sidewalk cracks (likely from one of our 14k trees), and construction projects galore. Life is filled with plenty of challenges and yet, considerable amounts of enjoyment.
This summer has been no exception. For me, losing a dear family friend has been extremely hard and anticipating losing my dad to dementia is so tender and painful, but in contrast, adding another granddaughter to our family, and another one in a few weeks has been pure joy; seeing a young couple join in marriage and another celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary has been exhilarating.
So many occasions I am reminded of my faithful Grams and the lessons I observed of her patience, kindness, goodness, and love. She went about doing good without praise or accolades. Her focus for her entire life was to DO GOOD no matter what. How many times I would hear the gentle creak of her rocking chair in the floor above my room, rocking in the wee hours of the morning. I knew she would be reading her daily devotions. Precious time spent on behalf of others, and it was a normal but necessary part of her daily routine.
This makes me think of the good brought about by the City-Wide Church Centennial devotional celebrating 100 years of church worship and faith in Longview. Held at the civic circle a few weeks ago, twelve congregations, hundreds of parishioners, and dozens of pastors were singing and praying on behalf of our city. The pastors prayed for me as the city’s leader as well and I was so humbled to be there.
City Projects begun or completed this summer include:
- Groundbreaking for Divert, Inc at the Mint Farm and the Ribbon Cutting of the 911 Center on Ocean Beach Hwy.
- Chipseal and street repairs throughout the city, sidewalk repairs, stormwater system cleaning in West Longview and screens added at the south end of the lake, a sinkhole repair and driveway approach added.
- Heartfelt farewells to 12-year City Attorney Jim McNamara and 35-year Mint Golf Maintenance employee Scott Knapp. The City family will soon see many new faces including a new city attorney and prosecutor, lateral police officer, golf maintenance specialist, public disclosure analyst, recreation leader and recreation site leader.
- Approved sidewalk business licenses were issued for outdoor seating as well as one mobile vendor license. Permits were issued for two manufactured home placements, one new single-family home, three commercial tenant improvements, 197 building applications, 12 new home occupation business licenses and two new business licenses.
- Revisions were submitted for: a Shelly Place Townhome subdivision package for 23 townhomes, a subdivision application for 20 single family homes at 33rd Avenue, improvements to the Bed, Bath and Beyond store to add a Marshalls retail store, Juniors Tacos permits to move their restaurant to the vacant building adjacent to current building, application for a new warehouse/storage for NAPA Auto Parts, tenant improvement to the former Pizza Hut building, proposed for a future location of Papa Pete’s Pizza, a remodel at the RA Long school kitchen, proposed construction of a shop building and parking lot expansion of Clary Ford, applications were submitted for Sunrise Village 40-unit affordable housing townhouse/apartment development on Pennsylvania Street, pre-app meeting for a significant expansion of Matt’s Meats and permits, and the demolition of the former water treatment plant on Fisher’s Lane.
- Mint Valley Golf course- continues breaking records for play, use, revenues and one of the best golf courses in the state for Par 3, regular 18- and 9-hole play!
- Newly resurfaced and named Clary Courts pickleball courts at John Null Park are beautiful and ready for play.
- The Public Library has printed Historic City Passports as part of the Summer Reading Program, which has had enormous success with over 1000 children registered.
- Buildings throughout the city will be receiving new HVAC systems as part of a recent Ameresco Comprehensive energy saving study throughout the city facilities.
There is no way possible to include everything that is happening throughout the city. It is astounding to see and hear of the magnitude of production and the level of excellence delivered daily from our city staff. I commend and honor each employee for their high integrity given the level and capacity of their workload.
Wherever you are, whatever your experiences have been this year, know that you are loved, cared for and heard. The City of Longview, under the outstanding leadership of City Manager Kris Swanson and Assistant City Manager Ann Rivers, incredible city staff and exceptional councilmembers Strobel, Kendall, Wean, Ortiz, Boudreau and Mayor Pro-Tem Wallin are a dynamic team working diligently each day to serve our community, for the betterment of the city.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve.
Blessings to all-
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis