Poway Town Hall meetings, recognition program returning

By Steve Dreyer

Mayor Don Higginson’s annual “State of the City” speech Tuesday night included promises to restore several former city traditions and recognition of four community leaders.

Higginson said the city will resume the practice of holding occasional Town Hall-style community meetings on specific topics, that he will again be holding Friday afternoon office hours for constituents and that noteworthy individuals and businesses will be occasionally recognized with the “Mayor’s Award.”

Mayor's Awards were presented Tuesday night to, from left, Dr. Bruce Tarzy, Jim Bowersox and Bob Emery. Photos by Beverley Brooks

To re-launch that program, Higginson presented Mayor’s Awards to three men who were instrumental in the city’s formative years: former Councilmen Bruce Tarzy and Bob Emery and former City Manager Jim Bowersox.

Then, starting a new tradition, Higginson announced the first recipient of what he calls the Blue Vase Award: Phil Harris, founder of Family & Friends Community Connection. The award, Higginson said, was inspired by the 1921 book, “The Go Getter” by Peter B. Kyne. It is intended to reward residents who overcome significant obstacles to achieve goals.

Higginson said the first of the year’s Town Hall meetings will be held on June 4 at Twin Peaks Elementary School. The subject will be the proposed environmental impact report on the widening of Espola Road.

Mayoral office hours will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of each month. Appointments can be made by calling or emailing City Hall, he said.

The time will provide “an informal opportunity to discuss what is important to you, or just answer questions or chat.”

The first Blue Vase Award was presented to Phil Harris, left, by Mayor Don Higginson.

Higginson said he will also be setting up monthly meetings with representatives of the business, faith and youth sports communities.

These changes, he said, are all part of his theme this year to “educate, motivate and celebrate” in Poway. The theme harkens back those embraced by the council 20 years ago, he said.

The city is in good financial shape, the mayor said, thanks largely to its long-standing conservative fiscal policies.

“We have thus far successfully survived the most difficult economic period in recent memory,” Higginson said. “Adversity has made us stronger. We have met the challenges presented to us, and we continue to do everything we can to mitigate the uncertainties.”

Higginson will give the speech a second time during a Chamber of Commerce-sponsored “State of the Community” breakfast on March 15 at the Maderas Golf Club.

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Posted by Steve Dreyer on Mar 6 2013. Filed under Featured Story, Local News, Poway. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

13 Comments for “Poway Town Hall meetings, recognition program returning”

  1. Joyce

    I love how Higginson said he's restoring the townhall meetings and keeping Friday office hours. What a novelty Mr. Mayor. Oh wait. Steve Vaus did that already by holding his street corner ask the candidate and the hugely successful town hall meeting on drug abuse in Poway. Oh well. Better late than never.

    • Tom Yarnall

      Joyce, surely you are not equating the program Mayor Higginson is putting into place with a pre election street corner gig and a pre election town hall meeting on drug abuse, are you?
      I am sure Mr Vaus and the other council members will participate and contribute to the success of this new program.
      I am looking forward to the first meeting where the Espola Road expansion will be discussed. No one has been able to solve this dilemma and maybe this will be a good step in that direction. Nothing to lose.

      • Joe St. Lucas

        Tom, the espola expansion was discussed a couple of years ago at the city council meetings. They turned down the two lane in each direction plan. I think they agreed on basically a three lane road, middle lane is only for school buses, then one lane north and one south from twin peaks to titan way. Both east and west sides would have a 6 or 8 ft. wide bicycle path. I think that this new meeting is to discuss the EIR associated w. this plan, they really didn't say. There's lots of homeowners who will be affected because Poway will take back the espola right of ways that aren't being used right now and people will think that their properties are being taken away from them. Then again, I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first nor the last time for that.

        • Tom Yarnall

          Joe, as usual, you are right on.
          I think a full expansion, that would align with Espola Road north of the high school, would have involved the building of a road off Hacienda Lane behind a few houses on the east side of Espola and south of High Valley. That course would have involved imminent domain and those home owners were mad as hell and circulated a petition to stop it. They would have lost some space on both the front and rear of their homes. I don't think that had anything to do with the decision you described. I believe it was, and still is, a money issue.
          A 6-8 foot wide bicycle lane would be fantastic for those who frequently travel this dangerous stretch. Sidewalks would really be a bonus.
          This project will continue to be kicked down the road until the Council gives it priority.

          • Tom needs a hobby

            Your'e the only one kicking it down the road. Put your money where your big mouth is.

          • Tom Yarnall

            It is my opinion some who use pseudo names do so because they are unable to add value to a discussion and can only use de-meaning phrases instead of logic, just like the above comment. They may just lack the intelligence to do differently. I always assume that to be the case and ignore their comments. I give them pity not rage.

          • Gee Wiz Tom

            Then why even comment? Couldn't you have proved your point otherwise?

      • Joyce

        Higgy said he wasn't going to run for mayor again either and lo and behold just after the election he announced he in fact is going to seek another term. So all of his comments are merely grandstanding. It would have been much better for him to finally step aside. But with his the odd trinity now of Mullin, Cunningham and Higginson I have to wonder how this will all play out in the end. Cunningham I believe was fully prepared to run for mayor until the recent announcement. Higginson is gearing up to present a warmer, fuzzier, friendlier mayor. As opposed to the frequently condensending insider that he is.

    • Stan

      Higginson did this over 20 years ago, it is being revamped and brought back.

  2. Joe St. Lucas

    Very tricky! There's a city council meeting scheduled for June 4th at 7pm, that hasn't been cancelled yet. (check the poway.org site). So attend either the Espola Rd. EIR meeting or the city council meeting, but not both! (or neither). I'd assume that councilmembers and staff will be at city hall conducting their regularly scheduled business.

  3. Joe St. Lucas

    Also, city hall is closed every other friday and some of these "closed" dates correspond to the 2nd and 4th fridays of the month. (May for instance) Maybe the mayor will be the only office open in the building for the meetings?

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