In this first year of this new administration it has been a focus to get everybody on the same page. I promised to the citizens through my campaign and my inauguration to bring teamwork, accountability and service to city government. I am proud to say that we are taking steps to improve on each one.
During my initial entry into this office I have observed the workings of City Hall from the inside. I wanted to see first hand how day-to-day operations take place before changes are made. I have accomplished this through job shadowing employees, maintaining an active presence at city hall and requiring all city employees to maintain daily logs of work completed throughout the day.
During this short but busy time I have been in meetings, and a lot of them! I have had the opportunities to meet with neighboring cities elected leaders, county leaders, Congressman Baird's office, water & sewer operating board, city employees and city department supervisors. It is important to strengthen partnerships, provide clear direction and have everybody working towards common goals.
We worked immediately to put into place civil service for the Police Department as has been required by state law over the past several years but never fulfilled. We have Moved into the new city hall! This was a project that was authorized by the previous council. We have accepted delivery of two additional police vehicles and we will have an additional police officer on the streets as soon as he graduates from the academy next month. These were also projects of the previous council.
We have finished moving into our new city hall located at 407 SW Birch Ave. It is a handsome new edition to our city and will serve the needs of our growing community for years to come. This was a project started and committed to by last years council and mayor. The negotiated contract was a lease of the building by the city with the building developer, Haberstroh Properties. The lease is a 25 year lease with the option to buy the building at any time. After 25 years, if the city has not yet purchased the building, then at the time of purchase 20% of the lease over 25 years would be applied to the principal. I have directed staff to seek different options we may have to purchase the building as soon as possible so that it is owned by the people, as it should be.
In the next couple months I want to put into place a Citizen Water Operations Efficiency Committee to investigate the cost of water. I also see a need for a joint committee of city representatives and citizens to evaluate the budget and make recommendations on where we can be more cost effective. And I am working to get in writing a Code of Ethics and Performance Standards for all city employees to work by and we will soon adopt strict computer usage policies.
For the years 2008-09 it is my resolution to unveil my “Let's Do Business Plan”. This will be a large project that will highlight key steps that will be necessary in order to attract and retain a strong business base. This is to support a vision of a city that attracts positive business growth by explaining how we would like to get there, ways to measure our progress and what the city is going to do to make this project flourish.
I have also begin dialogue with Lewis County Fire District 5. The City of Napavine is served by Fire District 5 to provide fire protection and emergency medical services. Fire District 5 is governed by three elected fire commissioners and is an all volunteer service with the exception of a part time paid fire chief. I want to take this opportunity to encourage citizens to volunteer and help your neighbors. For the time being we depend on these dedicated volunteers to save our lives, our loved ones and our properties and the need for help is strong.
In regards to lowering costs of needed equipment I envision the creation of a multi city interlocal. The cities of Napavine, Toledo, Winlock, Vader and even Centralia and Chehalis have to buy similar equipment for operating their cities. This includes street sweepers, vacuum trucks to clean sewer holes, backhoes, dozers, water trucks, etc… Many of these things are not used often but are very much needed for the full functioning ability of a city. I believe that instead of each city purchasing their own, all of the cities could purchase the equipment together. We would all then share the costs of purchasing, maintaining and operating the equipment instead of each of us buying it on our own. This has been successful in other cities. I hope that we can use this idea to work together in reducing the costs for all of these needed items.
In closing, I am optimistic about the future of our city. I am proud of the people that live here and of the dedication of so many people to make this place a home. I would also like to recognize the accomplishment of the Napavine School District in ranking as a top high school in the nation according to a U.S. News and World Report. Our city is strong and growing and it is because of the hard work of people like you that we have gotten to where we are at today! As always your input is absolutely essential in making Napavine what we expect it to be.
There is a lot of opportunities and change that will be coming up. But I can't do this without YOU. I will need your patience at times, your input, your ideas and most importantly your support as we continue down this path into the future. You are a valuable teammate in this city and together we will make the City of Napavine a safe, clean and progressive city with a small town atmosphere by providing teamwork, accountability and service.
If you wish to contact me by e-mail, fax, phone or letter please contact me at:
Mayor Nicholas Bozarth PO Box 810 Napavine, WA 98565
(360)262-9231, extension 226 - main (360) 262-9885 - fax