Clovis Round Up
Mayor Lynne Ashbeck
Thank you, Clovis Roundup, for being such a strong local voice and for this opportunity for Councilmembers and City Department leaders to be contributors each month through this new column to share news of interest, discuss issues on our mind, and engage residents in this public forum.
The Clovis Roundup fills an important gap in local news coverage and in the local reporting that is so necessary to democracy, responsive local government, and a stronger community.
A recent article in another California newspaper spoke to the value of local journalism, editorials, and opinion pieces—especially in the face of the ‘tsunami’ of State and national ‘breaking news’ that occupies so much of our media space and that is mostly driven by ‘clicks’ on this story or that headline.
Our traditions, our values, our issues, and our community are far more important for us to focus on—and that’s what Clovis City Councils have done for generations. And what we will continue to do.
So, thank you, Clovis Roundup, for the role you play and for the chance to submit this first column.
It occurs to me that 2023 will be a year of transitions for our community. Two new Councilmembers were sworn in at the end of 2022, the first time we have had two new members since 2017 when Councilmember Vong Mouanoutoua and Councilmember Drew Bessinger were elected.
A new Clovis Unified Superintendent is coming this summer, new businesses, a new fire chief, new civic leaders, new neighborhoods.
There certainly have been many transitions over the 111 years of our City. That is not new. But what seems more important than ever is to be sure we ‘pass these batons’ with great attention to the core values that have served us well for decades.
I am not saying we must stay the same—that has never been the case. But our community values become even more important in a world of rapid change and partisan divides fueled by attention spans the length of a social media message.
In this world of more remote work and less civic engagement, we need ways for our citizens to engage more than ever before.
We look forward to an update of the City’s strategic plan this year. It has been a number of years since we have spent some time imagining the future of our community, and it is time to do that again.
Your input into that process will be essential so keep an eye out for ways to tell us what you think.
As you know, your Council members are elected at large, and we do not yet have ‘districts’ in Clovis. Each Councilmember is here to serve you—and a request to any one of us will find its way to the Council and/or the staff who can help. Connect with us at the City’s website: www.cityofclovis.com, via our email addresses, or the next time you see us in the grocery store or at a soccer game.
That’s what I love most about local government. Even as we grow and welcome new neighbors, we can hear about your concerns on one day and take care of them on the next.
That is one thing that we never want to transition away from in Clovis.
I look forward to running into you soon.