There is not doubt, election time will soon be here. Just read the newspaper; voices are getting louder and rhetoric more aggressive. In the olden days, people debated in the marketplace, after church or in the neighborhoods — and it was not always peaceful. Nowadays, while debating is still being done in public places, it comes — through newspapers, radio, television and computer transmissions — into every household and to every person and it is more important than ever to stay cool. Likes or dislikes of the people who offer to serve inevitably play a part, though of course, they shouldn’t. To make intelligent decisions requires work. We have to educate ourselves and the sooner the better.
Municipal elections are three year terms, not enough time, perhaps, to achieve all one wants to achieve. Besides, there are usually projects that have been started by the former administration just as there are projects that will only be finished by the next group in office.
Leo Facio, our former mayor, once told me that our new plaza will be his legacy. Our current mayor, Ken Becotte, acknowledged it by asking him to cut the ribbon when it was officially opened. The beach, of course, is the truest example of concessive work being done by the incumbants of several terms. The most important part, perhaps, that fell to the current administration was to stop, or at least try to stop, the ongoing sand erosion and only time will tell how effective those “sandcatcher blocks” are. But, the landscaping, new cement platforms for the memorial benches as well as the cleaned-up benches themselves, a new flag pole and beautiful landscaping all around speak well for our current administration. And I have not even mentioned the Meama River trails, the bridges and the hundreds and hundreds of trees and bushes planted with the help of local volunteer groups to reinforce the river banks.
The enlargement and improvement of our water treatment plant, the ongoing extension of the municipal waterline, a new and better garbage and recycling system and now a new bridge over the Meama River on McCombs Road will make this administration’s actions a hard one to follow. So, you might ask, what will our current mayor’s legacy be? There is no doubt in my mind that it is the renovation of the Memorial Hall. This was a project that has touched the hearts of the people. After many years of wishing and asking, the dream came true and it was in the nick of time. It was a dramatic decision with two councillors voting for it and two against it, so it was the mayor’s vote that sealed the deal.
I almost forgot: a new bridge has been finished across the Meama River and residents, especially school children who live on the east side of Harrison Hot Springs have now a faster, safer way to the other side and the school. The Fred Hardy Bridge has been repaired and the tennis court in Spring Park resurfaced. And, I should mention our new logo and the new information signs at the corner of Lillooet and Hot Springs Road.
Last, not least, two long-term bills have been paid off ten years ahead of time saving our community a lot of money in interest. Is there more? I will leave it up to you to find out.