Clovis’ new mayor addresses community

Clovis Mayor Drew Bessinger addresses the community during his inaugural Mayor’s Breakfast event on May 9, 2019. PHOTO BY RON SUNDQUIST/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

Clovis held its annual Mayor’s Breakfast on Thursday, May 9 at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District. In front of a packed hall that included community leaders from various departments and organizations, newly-elected Clovis mayor Drew Bessinger talked about the progress Clovis has made as well as the challenges the city still needs to overcome.

Bessinger praised Clovis police, firefighters, public utilities department, volunteers and several other organizations.

The Clovis Mayor also shed light on several challenges during his address to the community.

In regards to fiscal challenges, Bessinger said the city is trying to figure out how to fund public facilities and build new parks in growing areas without forgetting about older areas.

He added that Clovis, like many California cities, is dealing with the issue of homelessness.

Bessinger also noted the challenge of how to deal with the commercial cannabis industry.

“How will the commercial cannabis industry affect the fabric of our state?” Bessinger said. “Many cities have rushed into the [industry], in hopes of fixing their fiscal problems. In Clovis we’ve decided to wait and see. As my mother would say, ‘just because everybody’s jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, doesn’t mean you have to also.’”

Bessinger said Clovis can work together with the Central Valley to solve the issues which are seen in many other areas.

“We all sink or swim together. We are linked to the city of Fresno by our shared goal, our shared issues and our shared future.” Bessinger said. “Many of California’s larger cities are experiencing the proliferation of homeless encampments and public health and neighborhood blight issues. We’re experiencing this too and it’s a problem that we’re going to have to deal.”

Besinger encouraged residents to participate in helping the city overcome its challenges and continue to grow.

“Join club and organizations,” Bessinger said. “We have clubs and organizations that do amazing work. They really help the community.”

Bessinger also highlighted the progress Clovis’ has made recently, including the Senior Center which has continued to add classes to serve senior citizens.

Bessinger said the Clovis Recreation Center is another vital organization for the community, recently adding adaptive basketball for kids with mobility issues.

The Clovis Recreation Center is also working with Clovis police to host the Cops and Kids Youth Camp.

Bessinger added that the planning department has been busy in recent years.

“As an example of their hard work, the approval process for the new Costco only took five months,” Bessinger said. “Our innovative Cottage home program has taken off and we’re getting a lot of looks from other communities around the state to see how we pulled that one off.”

Bessinger said Clovis has also benefited from volunteers who have put in more than 83,000 hours of service. 

Bessinger highlighted the new cancer center at Clovis Community Hospital, California Health Sciences University breaking ground in Clovis and the Veterans Affairs Administration planning to build a medical center.

Tomas Kassahun
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