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.”
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.”
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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