The City of Clovis’ annual Mayor’s Breakfast was held for the first time in three years on Thursday, May 19th.
The event had to be delayed due to COVID-19 concerns, but was held under limited restrictions at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.
Contributors and partners of the event were honored and thanked for their support by both the Clovis Community Foundation and Mayor Pro-Tem Lynne Ashbeck, as she stood at the podium before breakfast was served.
“To those who have served or are serving and have served on the Foundation board, thank you for what you do to keep our community strong.”
Ashbeck continued on in welcoming further Gold, Silver, and Bronze Partners to the event as well as mentioning the benefactors of this particular fundraiser.
Recipients included the Boys and Girls Club of Clovis, the Clovis Botanical Garden, Clovis Trails, the Nature Education Center, and the Centerstage Clovis Community Theatre who performed a rendition of the National Anthem.
On their way to breakfast, plenty of members of the Clovis society and sovereignty spoke about the benefit of being back together for an event of this magnitude.
Clovis City Manager John Holt said, “It’s really nice to have an event like this of this size and returning [from the pandemic] is great.”
Clovis Unified School Board President Tiffany Stoker-Madsen continued the sentiment saying, “It’s wonderful to see so many members of the community gathered here to support the city of Clovis.”
President of the Clovis Rodeo Association Ron Dunbar stated “It’s awesome, I mean, we as an organization, the Clovis Rodeo, support the City of Clovis and the mayor. It’s a great team that we have with each other. It’s nice to get together finally in one big open area and good to have no restriction, no mask and see each other.”
Blake Zante, political director representing Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s campaign relayed, “It’s great to see the entire community out and about again and have everyone here celebrating what’s great about Clovis.”
On the opportunity for McCarthy’s campaign to connect with the city of Clovis, Zante replied, “I think it’s just a good opportunity to build relationships in the community and show that we’re gonna have a presence in the Clovis area and looking forward to working with community partners.”
Citizens from Clovis were not the only members in attendance to the breakfast however, as representatives from Fresno State in addition to the presence of President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval were also present.
Member of the Board of Education to the Fresno Unified School District Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas promulgated, “It’s wonderful to be here to support our neighbors and to hear an update on what the City of Clovis is up to.” Rosas went on to explain, “As neighbors we are interconnected so we want to be here to support the efforts and know a little bit more of what’s going on.”
In transitioning to what indeed is going on in the City of Clovis, Mayor Jose Flores stood at the front of the room and gave an address on the State of the City.
Mayor Flores opened up by mentioning the COVID-19 pandemic and the issues it has brought to the city within the past two years.
In the very beginning, with everything being shutdown, Flores reminded that the city had to comply and did so by meeting the social distancing rules, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated when vaccinations became available.
He mentioned the work the city did to continue to update the council and the public on the disease, and was especially proud of the city for not shutting down the local government.
Flores then spoke about campaigns launched to support local business. “We respect the law, we respect the rule of law, but some of these mandates were too onerous for the sake of our citizens, our residents, our businesses.” Flores explained he and the council tried their best to “mitigate” and said they became less responsive to the mandates.
“We’re small enough, still as a small city, that we’re nimble, but large enough that we have great professional staff that know what they’re doing. And they lead not only our city, but our county, our region, our state,” said Flores about the work that is done by city employees.
Mayor Flores then acknowledged further acts the city took in order to help its citizens throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
These acts included assistance through the emergency housing payment program, free COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites, free transportation, as well as further creation of policies and procedures.
“As soon as we could once that vaccination became available we had our own vaccination locations throughout Clovis and we had many partners that helped us deliver those vaccinations. Because we knew, we believed in the science, we knew who was vulnerable.”
In finishing on the State of the City, Flores mentioned future projects like the William H. “Harry” Armstrong Transit Center and the Senior Activity Center, a Smittcamp Family Legacy, being built at Landmark Square.
Mayor Flores ended, “Yes we were challenged by the pandemic, we did everything we could practically to mitigate the impact. We helped our citizens, especially the vulnerable. We helped our businesses, our restaurants. And we teamed up with all sorts of different businesses so they could stay viable so they could keep Clovis as strong as a city as it is.”
“The State of the City is great and I thank all of you because it’s people like you who come to events like this to support great organizations like our foundation. Although people may think we might be a rich community, sometimes, we too, need resources and it’s people like the foundation that ensures that we do and help beautify and make Clovis that cultural center that we believe we are.”