Mayor's Message, Opinion

Thank you for the privilege of serving as mayor

It’s Fall in Creswell. Though warm temperatures haven’t completely left us, we all know what’s coming: Leaves turning color and dropping to the ground, shorter days, Halloween just a few weeks away, followed by the holidays and winter. Change is in the air.
This Fall is a season of change for me as well. As you may have heard, I am not running for mayor. In just three months a new mayor will be sworn in and my term of service will be completed. It has truly been a great privilege and a joy to be your mayor.
Six years ago, Creswell was a very different place. The city council had fallen on hard times — council meetings were tense affairs, little progress was being made on important city business and trust between the council and staff had evaporated. In the November 2012 election, I ran for mayor under the banner, “Rebuilding Creswell,” which summed up what I believed our greatest need was. It was time to rebuild the confidence of citizens in their local government; time to rebuild the city council to be an effective representative body; time to rebuild trust between councillors and staff so that essential tasks could be accomplished.
You elected me mayor and charged me with carrying out what I had promised — the “rebuilding” of Creswell. Now, six years and three elections later, I am ready to step aside feeling certain that Creswell is once again a healthy, happy, robust and rebuilt city.
Our local government is led by a council of six residents and a mayor. This council has done an outstanding job: They understand their role as representatives, setting forth a plan that addresses current needs with an eye to the long-range future; they are policy-makers and not staff micro-managers; they listen well, voice their opinions and then vote their conscience. It has been a privilege to work with them.
Alongside the council is our city manager and the staff she has assembled. Manager Michelle Amberg was hired in 2014 and has been a key factor in our city’s turnaround. She has tremendous knowledge of how to operate a city, she is a creative thinker always looking for the best solutions to our challenges and she has put together a top-notch staff that is functioning at a very high level of excellence. I have every confidence that our council and staff will continue to work for the best interests of all the citizens of Creswell.
Soon you will be electing a new mayor and three new councillors. Two citizens have applied for vacant council seats; the third seat has no applicant and will be filled by a write-in candidate. Please consider a citizen you feel is well-qualified and write them in for the vacant position. There are two candidates for mayor, both of whom currently serve on the city council: Gary Mounce and Richard Zettervall. I’d encourage you to reach out to councillors Zettervall and Mounce — ask what their goals are for Creswell, quiz them about their accomplishments while serving on the Council and find out their heart for Creswell. Whomever is elected, I hope you’ll give them the same wonderful support you’ve given me.
Early in my service as mayor, I was influenced by these words: “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” The reality six years ago was that Creswell needed “rebuilding.” With the help of many councillors, excellent staff and the encouragement of so many of you, that task has been accomplished. I believe the best leaders are servants, and I hope you have found me to be that. Now it is time to say, “Thank You.” You gave me one of the great privileges of my life, to serve as your mayor. It has truly been one of the most joyful experiences of my life. To every citizen of Creswell, I say, “Thank You!” I will not be leaving Creswell, only transitioning into the role of cheerleader for the next mayor and council. I look forward to seeing all of you around town, our town – Creswell, The Friendly City!