I am tremendously honored and humbled to have served a second term as the Mayor of this great community.
This is the town where my wife Debbie and I chose to raise our family...
This is the town where I enjoyed my youth and worked for our recreation department as a teenager and college student…
This is the town that I have a tremendous heart to serve and care deeply about…
This is a community that takes the support of our veterans and currently serving members of the military seriously and solemnly.
Our future is being shaped right now and while the state may foist some significant decisions on us, we are independent, strong willed, and caring in our approach. Covina will continue to prosper and grow, leading the way among other communities as we start up smart developments, become increasingly sustainable, support our downtown and business community, and stay keenly focused on our “customers” and community in everything we do.
Covina continues to weather the financial crisis with thoughtful and diligent efforts to reduce our budget while maintaining critical and important services for our community. We are working hard to ensure that local government continues to provide responsive service and is in-line with what our community members see as important for the City to provide and move forward.
Over the course of the coming year, I ask my colleagues on council to join me and continue to prioritize and support several initiatives that are currently making a difference in our community.
While we are financially limited by the times we are enduring, we simply must continue the deep commitment and support of our police and fire professionals. In Kim Raney, we have a leader who has built a responsive and community focused police department that understands the tie between how a community functions, and the perception of safety and security among our community members. Ensuring that people feel safe and are safe here in Covina is good for business…good for housing values….good for our citizens…and foundational to everything we hope to grow and accomplish in Covina. Chief Raney, you have my unwavering support and trust.
Covina has been prudent and conservative in our budgeting. Through hard work and reductions last year, we balanced our budget in the worst of times. We must now be aggressive in our efforts to keep the State’s grubby paws away from our redevelopment agency and funding. The voters asked the state to refrain from using local government as an opportunity to balance their ever increasing budget. To Governor Brown I say…cut spending…tackle the hard issues like pension reform and get on with the business of ensuring that our state government is operating within the means that these times dictate and demand.
Covina simply must become increasingly concerned with being energy efficient and sustainable. The work that we invest in and accomplish in this area will produce long term cost and energy savings and bring our community the benefits of being an increasingly livable city.
Covina is a member of the San Gabriel Energy Wise Partnership which provides increased incentives to complete energy efficiency projects. Each of these efficiency projects produce savings and reduce energy usage over the long term. We must be active and diligent and find the right projects to invest in to reap the increased incentives and lower our overall cost of doing business.
Covina has embarked on planning efforts to make our community a more walkable and bicycle friendly community. This is another element that provides long term environmental and livability benefits while having the side effect of attracting young people and families to either return to or come to Covina because of the nature of our community. We have already put a stake in the ground of this effort by supporting our new Bikestation at our Metrolink Station, expanding our cycling and walkability efforts further into the community is important. In the bigger picture, reducing vehicle trips is good for our town, the region, and the broader environment.
A community garden - One of the efforts that I have supported and believe strongly in is the development of community gardens. Sustainable and highly livable communities have locations where residents that don’t have land can produce locally grown food for their own use. Such developments beautify the community, provide an alternative healthy recreation opportunity, and reduce the need to ship produce from afar as residents grow and harvest their own healthy fruits and vegetables.
Recreation and Parks…Some see these community assets as a luxury…I see them as essential to the vibrancy and health of our community. We have a long history of providing extremely cost effective recreation programs and a strong library…and right now, our public library has new leadership that is carefully examining how we will adapt and grow their vision and the opportunities for our library to become increasingly relevant and useful to our community. The Christmas Parade, the Christmas Tree lighting, Summer concerts, the Halloween Festival and the many events our Recreation Staff undertake are all examples of why our residents think this is one of the best communities in America. Despite our financial restraints, Amy Hall-McGrade and her team have done an outstanding job and have my continued support and admiration for what they accomplish. Keep up the great work.
Covina has amazing development opportunities here in the heart of our community. Whether the Governor abolishes our redevelopment agency or not, we must be proactive in trying to attract the right development to our community. As the economy starts to make the turn towards prosperity once again, we are well positioned…we have sites that will make a huge difference in our town and the collective fortitude and willingness to ensure that developers have a positive experience in undertaking projects in Covina. The current Olson project moving forward next door, our new Lowes and Home Depot, The Sugar Bowl, are all great examples of how Covina has worked hard to bring new residents and business to our town even in the midst of the recession. Key future opportunities certainly include the former Clippinger, Russ Davis, and Dodge sites in addition to several smaller parcels around town. We may emerge different after the State pillages us, but our resolve to continue to bring thoughtful developments that fit well with our community is still paramount.
Our City Manager, Daryl Parrish, has built a very conservative and effective team that operates our city so well on a day to day basis. We touch our citizens in so many ways whether it is through the strong efforts of public works field teams, or as any one of our dedicated staff at public service counters assisting residents and business owners looking for help. I know that the entire council joins me in thanking Daryl for his leadership and guidance as we have maneuvered the rough seas of the current recession. To all of our public servants, thank you for your hard work and dedication to this community. Your resiliency and continued work for the citizens of Covina are to be admired.
Finally, to my colleagues on the City Council…we have hard and important work to accomplish this year. That we had no election is a testimony to the trust that our citizens have placed in the members of this body. This is an entire council of mayors. Let’s be creative, active, engaged, and forward thinking. The recession does not dictate that we recede…in fact, I challenge us to think that the current conditions demand us to be creative and innovative. Let’s tackle the coming year with concern…care…verve…and gusto. I truly look forward to all that we will accomplish together and with the members of our community.
I thank our Lord for the opportunities, challenges, and successes we have before us and our community… Our heritage is strong… Our future is bright… Our commitment to community is unwavering… Our dedication to Covina is foundational and complete.
Let’s get to work…
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