From the Desk of the Mayor - September 2022
These crisp autumn mornings are a sign of forthcoming seasonal changes. For some it's a welcome to a quieter more peaceful season - a season of cuddling up with a good book, and a cozy fire to reflect, ponder and simmer for a spell. For many it’s also a time to prepare for unruly weather and other challenges.
As we watch the storm currently approaching the Florida Gulf Coast, we hope and pray for the safety of those in harm’s way. While hurricanes don’t threaten us here in the Pacific Northwest, we would still be wise to take precautionary measures for other potential catastrophic activity that may come our way by: storing up supplies and food, preparing and repairing our spaces, watching the weather, listening for critical communications, and making sure we have enough “gas in the tank” - emotionally, mentally, physically and literally.
When a storm is brewing, being prepared helps dispel fear and brings peace. Through difficult times we may also turn to a higher power to help us through – and in times of calm we should count our blessings. The days, weeks, months and years following a disaster can also be telling as to our preparation. With practice, we can continue to refine our efforts and be even better prepared for the next event.
In parallel, projects and activities have been a-brewing in our community. Some projects have been on the City of Longview’s plate for years. Some are passive and mild, others costly and contentious.
The following are some projects we will be celebrating soon and within the next two years!
- Ribbon cutting coming soon - Archie Anderson Parks and Longview Police Dept Substation. Many thanks to our 19th district legislators, Representative Jim Walsh, Representative Joel McEntire, and Senator Jeff Wilson for securing the necessary financial support for this much needed satellite police office located in our Highlands neighborhood.
- The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee recommended and Council approved $210k (dedicated monies collected from lodging tax tourism) to support the community with the following activities:
- Parks and Recreation Bridge Run
- Columbia Arts Association - Art in the Park
- Rotary-sponsored Squirrel and Crafted Festivals
- Go-Fourth Festival
- Longview Centennial Committee for our 100-year Birthday Celebration
- Cowlitz County Historical Museum
- Kelso/Longview Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Squatchfest
- Ladies of the Lake Quilt Show
- Southwest Washington Symphony
- Unique Tin Car Show
- Longview Downtowners
- Lower Columbia College Baseball Championships
- Hip-hip-hooray for newly paved California Way. The paving project funds come directly from the $20 tab fee, towards the Transportation Benefit District's dedicated street funds.
- By December Longview's City Council will approve the $80mil 2023-2024 biennial budget and begin focusing on projects slated from dedicated American Recovery Plan Act funds, including a dedicated water main fill line from the Mint Farm Water Treatment Plan to our primary water reservoir.
I'm pleased to be part of a City Council that works hard on behalf of the citizens for the betterment of the community. Seasons will come and go and we will all do our best to prepare for the “storms” and give thanks for the calm.
What lessons are we learning to be better prepared? How will our community heal and grow from any decisions made? How can we all work together and celebrate the successes?
Happy fall ya'll.
Be brave and stay well.
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis