By Fran Blackney
On May 22nd, the chamber attended the annual Mayor’s Breakfast at the Veterans Memorial Building where once again we heard a very positive report from Mayor Lynne Ashbeck about the state of the city.
She told us that the state of the city is strong but we still must work hard, be the best that we can and work on improvement.
She then went through an extensive list of city successes.
The city made a milestone in population when we hit 102,188 in residents – a 40% increase in 14 years even during the recession.
The Clovis Rodeo celebrated its 100th anniversary, one of only 5 in the country to hit that mark. It will be inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in the spring.
The Farmers Market is in its 25th year and is considered one of the best in the Valley.
Clovis is not only one of the top cities in the state to find a job, it’s also the number one city in the state for raising a young family.
2000 new jobs were created in Clovis thanks to the expansion of the medical center, the opening of the Clovis Crossings shopping center and the new state call center. It will continue to thrive with its job growth by re-imagining the R&T Park and enlarging our health center. The goal is to make Clovis the region of choice for smart employers.
94% of the residents of Clovis would recommend our city as a great place to live.
Our fire department is only one of 13 in the state that is fully accredited.
City Manager Rob Wooley has put Clovis on a solid financial footing with a $190 million budget with a 15% reserve account that is ahead of schedule. We have a positive fund balance and an A+ rating with Standard and Poors. Employee turnover rate is less than 5%.
Housing starts in 2013 were 850 compared to 368 in 2012.
Two large projects were completed – the Miss Wrinkles Pet Adoption Center, one of the best in the country, and the Marjaree Mason Center.
Great communities have great schools and Clovis Unified continues its value of excellence. It requires the highest level of performance from themselves and the students. Some of its awards are: its schools have been declared California distinguished schools over 100 times, it is ranked third in the state for the smallest achievement gap between low income and other students, and it once again was honored for the way it budgets.
The city will continue to invest in and expand the infrastructure as prior investments in water banking a decade ago has paid off during the current drought.
Issues that will be still addressed are water and air quality, mental health and gangs.
The mayor said that the people who live and work here are the real Clovis story. She commended the city employees with several stories about those who rose above the call of duty.
She stated that the city is strong because the employees do more than what is expected of them; they have great instincts in serving people; because people matter most of all; they go above and beyond the Clovis norm; kids matter most in Clovis; all are engaged in the community; and they care deeply about the people they serve.
By the time the breakfast was over, there were a lot of proud Clovis residents in the room, an emotion that is rightly earned.