When I moved here in 1984, I wanted my young sons to live in a safe community, with clean neighborhoods and great schools … that’s Clovis. I want the same thing for my 17 month old granddaughter Blake. Where Clovis will be in 10 years is decided in the next 2-4 years. It’s important to know where candidates stand on issues that are important to our future.
Rebuilding or Public Safety Services: As the biggest part of the General Fund, both the Police and Fire Department’s were forced to reduce their staffing and budgets during the recession. As a Police Captain, I was forced to cut programs that I supported in order to get within the new “reality” the recession forced us to deal with. Your employees voluntarily took substantial pay cuts, and our officer staffing went from 116 to 93 officers. Clovis fared much better than many communities because of the early efforts of both the City Council and City Manager to reduce spending. As we emerge from the recession, we need to rebuild our public safety departments to keep protecting the citizens.
Revitalization of our Older Neighborhoods: As we grow to the north and east, many of our older neighborhoods are being left behind. Many neighborhoods felt the pain of foreclosed homes left to weed up, and rental homes with absentee landlords and renters who don’t care about their neighbors. If you look around many of our older neighborhoods, there are abandoned homes, weeded lots and undeveloped areas. We need to do a better job of encouraging smart development in these “in fill” areas, and code enforcement to improve the condition of our neighborhoods.
Encouraging Commercial and Retail Investment in Clovis: You don’t have to go far in town to notice shuttered businesses, and shopping centers with vacant spaces. We have done an excellent job in bringing business to Clovis, but more can be done. I’ve met with a business that selected Clovis, and I have some ideas on how we can encourage even more good businesses to make Clovis their home. We need to explore bringing in professional commercial development advisers, reduce or delay some fees, and work cooperatively with the Chamber of Commerce and other business advocacy groups to make Clovis a business destination.
There are other issues I’m concerned with … what are yours?