I imagine that on April 11th, you too, had feelings of surprise when you started your day. Who knew we would get nearly a half foot of snow across the region? One available source indicated it had been 87 years since the last measurable snow in the area in the month of April! Snowmeggedon does create all sorts of worries. Certainly, a major worry is downed trees and branches, power outages, and flooding. This past winter has surely given us plenty of practice, and just like most snowstorms in the Pacific Northwest, no sooner does a storm start then poof, it’s gone.
I'm continually amazed at the extreme level of behind-the-scenes worker bees in action in our community, for the greater good, at any given time. Huge thanks to our incredible heroes, the Cowlitz Public Utilities District crews, that were on the snow scene in an instant, working their magic during the wee hours of the morning and throughout the days following the recent snowstorm.
This past month has been a flurry of city adventures for me, from city business, to observing service, to learning new ways to do business, and partaking of, and giving first hand.
Here are a few examples:
- In early April I traveled to Boston with Councilmember Ruth Kendall, Community Development Director Ann Rivers and Public Works Director Ken Hash to tour the Divert, Inc facilty. Divert, Inc is a company with which the City of Longview has a purchase and sale agreement for four industrial Mint Farm lots. The tour was enlightening and informative. The genius of this food waste company is the data and technology the company provides to the grocery industry to help with food management, reduction of food waste to landfills, and the ability to recover the natural gas from the food waste. The City of Longview couldn’t be prouder to welcome Divert, Inc to our city.
- I spent an evening celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the Lower Columbia Chapter of 100 Women Who Care with a roomful of enthusiastically compassionate women, whom have collectively given over $250k to local non-profit recipients over the last 5 years. Each quarter a recipient organization is chosen to receive $10k. This quarter’s recipient was FISH of Cowlitz County, an organization which partners with 18 local churches to provide goods and services to those in need in our community.
- I enjoyed a great visit with Majors Phil and Lawry Smith of the Salvation Army at their quarterly senior luncheon. From providing hot meals, clothing, housing, and church services, the Salvation Army of Longview goes above and beyond to fill this needs gap in our community.
- Finally, but not least, I toured Vancouvers, “Stay Safe Community”, Safe Parking and Pallet homes community, with community members, Brian Magnuson and Randy Hall, City Manager Kurt Sacha, city staff Kris Swanson and Ann Rivers, and Longview Councilmembers, Ruth Kendall and Hillary Strobel, and Kelso Councilmember Keenan Harvey, to view possible shelter opportunities for those in need. These programs in Vancouver were designed to help those in need, to progress towards permanent housing. The City of Vancouver is seeing success!
I am grateful for the service providers in our community. In 2019, The Accessible Communities Advisory Committee of Cowlitz County identified over 125 organizations within our community that provide accommodations to individuals with diverse disabilities. It is truly astounding the level of caring, giving and service this community continues to provide to those in need.
There are opportunities a-plenty to serve in the Longview community. Are there ways you are willing to help out? Let’s work together to make Longview an even better place to work, live and reside.
Many blessings to you all,
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis