Welcome back, Clovis Independent!
Much has changed in our community, and yet much has remained the same since the Clovis Independent was last circulated in our community back in 2008.
We weathered the nation’s economic challenges, continued to invest in our city’s infrastructure, built new parks and trails, opened the Miss Winkles Pet Adoption Center, and watched the transformation of Clovis Community Medical Center into a premier, regional healthcare leader. We are proud that the F-18 fighter jet, christened the “City of Clovis,” flies our logo and is piloted by a Clovis High graduate. Clovis, like many cities, has also patiently waited for empty shopping centers to revive and for employers to bring jobs into our community.
During that same time, our Clovis voters have expressed their confidence in our City Council’s experienced leadership with more than 100 years of combined public service. The current Council has been together as a group for 12 years and, through both routine matters and difficult issues, we have worked hard to avoid partisan interests and individual agendas to remain focused on the common good for our residents.
Since 2008, we crossed the threshold of 100,000 residents. We celebrated the city’s 100th birthday in 2012, the Clovis Rodeo’s centennial in 2014 and the 10th anniversary hosting the Martin Luther King breakfast in our city last year.
Residents tell us that Clovis continues as the leading community in our region because safety, cleanliness and schools remain our priorities. A vibrant Old Town with small businesses that honors our history reminds us daily of our heritage. A powerful living commitment to our veterans, service clubs that are among the most active around and a strong faith community are institutional pillars that reflect and honor our basic community values.
And as we have grown, there have also been challenges to meet: more domestic violence in our region that resulted in a local shelter for women and kids at risk; gangs demanding regional cooperation among law enforcement; homelessness being met with more efficient service delivery; less water demanding longer-term planning and more efficient infrastructure; and a lagging regional economy that has helped us focus on developing our knowledge-based economy in Clovis.
Through all of this, we have remained a city committed to the best daily experience for our residents and improving the ways people engage with and in their city. We value all of channels available for folks to do that in person and through both traditional and social media. The return of the Clovis Independent offers all of us another way to engage, keep up, and speak up about this community we call ‘home.’
We welcome the conversations that will arise from the Clovis Independent, joining other papers and websites already devoted to Clovis and Clovis news.
What is my hope for this renewed media presence? That our citizen engagement, always a core value of our community, will find new ways for each of us from all of our generations to learn more, understand more, and ask more questions of our community. What is the new construction at the corner of this street and that? What is the city’s strategy to attract new jobs to our community? How is Clovis impacted by the larger Fresno metro area and the Valley, in general? How can I get more involved in my community? How might we all ‘Care for Clovis’ in new and different ways than we do now?
There is a sign in downtown Sacramento that asks “what have you done today to make this a better place?” I have always believed that if everyone did just one thing each day for our community, we would see an even more amazing transformation. Our “Care for Clovis” campaign is based on very simple and clear actions. Meet your neighbors…the new ones and the old. Volunteer…share your time and talents. Shop local. Pick up trash when you are out for a walk or enjoying the parks and trails. If you see graffiti, call the graffiti hotline at (559) 324-2426 and report it. Take down your garage sale signs from light poles and street signs at the end of the sale. Keep an eye on your neighborhood. Conserve water. The actions that mean the most in how a community feels about itself are often not complicated or time-consuming. With community building, like many things in life, sometimes simpler is better.
As we look ahead, our challenges as a Clovis community will be to remain as strong at 150,000 residents as we are today at 102,000…or as we were at 50,000. We will see staffing changes, infrastructure additions, build new neighborhoods and restore old ones. And through it all, the engagement of Clovis citizens has been…and will remain…the one ‘constant’ in our community’s success.
We look forward to hearing from you.