When asked to write this column about the successes of the John Day for 2006, I was amazed at what the city had accomplished over the last year. It would be easy to sit back and make a list of the items, but that would be too easy. I pondered the question of how all of these projects have benefited you, the citizens of John Day.
There are the obvious projects that we see on a daily basis such as the SE Dayton Street upgrade, downtown beautification with planters and hanging baskets, the small pocket park on 3rd Street across from the fairgrounds and the chip sealing of a number of our streets.
Behind the scenes, the city is working diligently to improve the way of life in our town in many ways. Many of the projects completed or on the table may or may not have an immediate impact on you or your daily life right now, but may in the future. Things like the Fire Consolidation Feasibility Study, the Wastewater System Facilities Plan, updating Water/Sewer agreements with Canyon City or the new telemetry system for sewer and water, just don't jump out at you as exciting, but they need to be done.
As always money plays an important part of any decision the city makes. It is our job to spend your money wisely, leveraging it to gain the most for your money possible.
The city has received or made it past the first cut on a number of grants over the past few years. As an example, the city was just awarded a Pedestrian/Bicycle Improvement grant for the East side of Bridge Street, extending from NW 2nd to NW 7th. This includes funding for new sidewalks and a pedestrian bridge over the John Day River.
We, the collective members of staff and council are looking beyond today and beyond tomorrow. We are looking at years and sometimes decades to come. Hopefully with a vision that will take John Day into the future with managed, controlled sustainable growth.
Over the past two years and for the next four, I will have the privilege of being your mayor. In that time I have heard people both praise and complain about the actions of the council. I would like to thank all of you for the comments and in the same breath ask you to get involved with the process, be informed. Too many times we will sit in a council meeting with rows of empty seats in front of us. There are plenty of seats, feel free to come to a city council meeting, remember we are there to represent you.
With your support, John Day will continue to grow into the future.