FROM THE MAYOR’S DESK: Many work together to make city a success

As we, the City of the Village of Clarkston, concluded a milestone with our 25th birthday as a city, I was asked what makes Clarkston great. Initially, the obvious came to mind with great shops and restaurants and of course our little historic city charm. Of course, it’s much more than that and as we celebrate our birthday year, I have to expand on this to include our people.
It is my honor to be the Mayor of our city. It is my responsibility to safeguard the tenets of our historic and charming community. It is my obligation to adhere to sound practice and edicts as we help to solidify processes and procedures that must be utilized, ensuring future security as a city.
At times it seems like an uphill battle as we try to meld two prevailing mindsets together (the old guard who I welcome as our guidepost to our historic preservations and the new guard who I see as oversight to effective governing and practice). One mindset is not more important than the other; both are needed to ensure our security and longevity. Both are charged with the responsibility to act with care and in civil manners in order to reach common goals and achieve cohesiveness; thus, enhancing our community.
With that said let me thank the many volunteers and elected officials who dedicate a portion of their lives to do just that. We have seen many changes to our boards, commissions and to the city council. Strengthening these entities is critical to smooth, fair and unbiased accomplishment within their areas of responsibly. These folks have obligations to just that and via continued educations within their fields and a rededication to civil and productive interactions we find they are thriving. I commend them and their efforts as well as their volunteer spirit.
Our city officers and employees, as well, witnessed change and have handled it admirably. They are dialing in on processes and working hard to establish consistent and effective procedures. Many of these folks stepped into new positions and have been constantly refining their skills and knowledge base in order to achieve smooth city operations.
The many men and women behind the scenes on a daily basis who make this city run smoothly (government, residential and our business district areas). Those who do the “heavy lifting” to ensure our city businesses operate seamlessly.
Many do not see them as they work shifts around the clock and have behind the scene functions. However, I see you late at night and in the early mornings as you ensure the responsible business duties are handled. Ensuring our city is kept clean and beautiful is often, to many, a muscle memory task. I see you sweeping your stoops and picking up trash in alleys and on sidewalks. We see you changing lightbulbs and planting flowers or pulling weeds. Thank you for your efforts and sense of responsibility.
To the Masonic, Rotarians, Optimist, Historic Society, Chamber, Clarkston News and Garden Club et al; we appreciate your dedication to the preservation of our historic city and its beautification. Many or these organizations work behind the scenes to enhance our charm and provide for the needs of community.
They also set standards in our values and practices for others to emulate and strive for. It is clear the historic value of these organizations helped to shape our society and sense of community. Many of them take oaths and practice obligations that go to the very core of a peaceful, duty and civic minded community which is paramount to securing our “way of life.” Thank you!
Many folks despise change. Unfortunately, we have little control over it. We can mitigate the effect of change by being proactive and deliberate. Some 25 years ago, the Village grew to become a City and change was difficult however; without that proactive mindset we could have seen a much different residential and business district that may have deteriorated the successful charm we currently maintain. I am grateful to those forward thinkers 25 years ago. It was a bold and deliberate step to control change within the then, Village boundaries. I appreciate the passion of our past leaders and key players in that change and encourage their continued civil tone and likeminded efforts to help us ensure our success.
We are far from perfect as many constantly point out. We are mindful of that and endeavor to always act with the city and our residents (to include business district) needs and wants in mind. We will continue to make mistakes as I have yet to meet that person void of “mistakes.”
It is my hope to leave our city better off and to improve on the greatness it was when I took the reins. We will always need help and we appreciate the offers and many folks working behind the scenes to assist us. I speak for myself however; I would find it difficult any member of our city staff or city council would object when I say we all want the same thing. We want to maintain and enhance while protecting our great little city. Maintain and enhance in all ways, Always.
It has been a great year with many bumps and bruises. Unscathed for the most part, we will continue to work diligently and productively for our city and its residents. Thank you and have a safe and happy New Year.
Steven C. Percival is mayor of the City of the Village of Clarkston