Meeting today’s challenges
Jul 07, 2020 - 02:59 PM
DAVIS — As I write my first Mayor’s Corner, I am feeling the heavy reality of taking up the gavel in a time when many in our community are facing the anxiety of staying healthy, keeping their finances secure and ensuring the education of their children.
Additionally, we are facing the reality that the ability to rise through these challenges is not equally matched. Some families, businesses or individuals are much better resourced than others. Municipalities face the challenge of continuing to meet the regular needs of a community and the added needs of shepherding people through a crisis, all with a smaller pot of money.
I am confident, however, that our city will meet these challenges. Having learned lessons from the last recession, we have positioned ourselves to run lean and efficiently and we are in a good place to emerge from this financially stable. At least for the moment.
The bigger and just-as-important task is ensuring the broader welfare of our community. This includes everything from helping small business survive, to providing outlets for our children, to meeting the moment of police reform and the deeper implications it brings. All while managing one of the biggest health threats to emerge in our lifetimes.
In times like these, leadership matters. There are many decisions our city has faced in the few short months since the outbreak of COVID-19. Some were easy, like contributing to the Yolo relief fund and the downtown business association, suspending late fees on utility payments and enacting a moratorium on evictions.
Others were more difficult, like holding the line on not allowing swim groups to resume even when other cities had defied the state order. The counties with those cities, by the way, have now been placed on the shutdown list by the state.
It has also been difficult to have to ask department personnel to take pay cuts or risk layoffs. We are, after all, in the business of building community and that stems from a foundation of good relationship building in our own organization. We daily feel the stress faced by our staff and community. Especially at times marked by periods that should have been major celebrations like the Fourth of July. As difficult as it is to continue to shutter our community it is imperative.
The explosion of COVID-19 cases seen since the relaxing of guidelines is alarming. It can not be emphasized enough that our personal decisions and attention to staying distanced is a life or death matter. The toll of that realization can be daunting and I ask that we are generous with each other.
I thank The Enterprise for allowing me to continue the tradition of writing the Mayor’s Column. I look forward to serving my community for the next two years. I thank former Mayor Brett Lee for the mentorship of the last two years.