Deep Thoughts with Big Stu

He’s no Jack Handey, but Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart had some musings on Saturday’s open house at the new Vancouver City Hall.

Stuart wanted to share his thoughts with the city council, his fellow commissioners, Vancouver City Manager Eric Holmes and Clark County Administrator Bill Barron.

Stuart didn’t share his thoughts with the meeting mavens, but we heard them anyway and, in turn, wanted to share them with all of you.

In fairness to Stuart, he’s got a good reason to be gushing, and it’s not just a detailed interlocal agreement with the city. Read the email closely.


From: Stuart, Steve

Sent: Monday, September 19, 2011 2:02 PM

To: Burkman, Jack; Stewart, Jeanne; Harris, Jeanne; Hansen, Bart; Smith, Larry; Leavitt, Tim; Campbell, Pat; Mielke, Tom; Boldt, Marc; Holmes, Eric; Barron, Bill

Subject: Musings from Saturday’s Event

Happy Monday,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, even though (or perhaps because) the rain came. For me, this weekend was a great chance to celebrate with you the new beginnings at the beautiful City Hall, and reflect on some thoughts during and after the event.

First, as I said to several of you at the celebration – congratulations! I know from having lobbied in both the old and new County buildings, and now working in the new one, it is a huge benefit to citizens and council alike to have an excellent single space for the community to interact and find services.

Second, listening to the Mayor’s words, looking around the new City Hall, talking with you and many of our shared constituents, I started thinking about how far we’ve come in our work together. It really doesn’t seem like that long ago when there were more concerns about turf and political positioning than shared responsibilities. But it was a long time ago. We’ve come so far since then. Through a wide variety of partnerships, including the shared investment in the Hilton Convention Center, the detailed interlocal agreement that we signed during the Comprehensive Growth Planning process, our work to figure out a better model for regional parks and sewer, the ongoing shorelines master plan update, our mutual re-shaping of CREDC, a shared commitment to revitalizing the Vancouver waterfront, and many more, we’ve moved past parochialism to work together. It was nice, standing there in the new governmental home for the City I live in, to feel like a part of the success instead of an interloper lurking in the wings while looking for an opportunity to strike. Thank you for that.

It was a good reminder to myself, thinking those things, seeing that partnership as its blossomed in these tough times. Because these are tough times. We have heavy issues facing our community, and whether they’re budgets, bridges, buses, baseball, biomass, babies (wait, that’s just me :)), we’re in it together. We may not agree on every one of those issues, nor is that a requirement of good governance, but we’re still working as partners toward the best solutions, still fighting for the prosperity of our place, because that is a requirement to best serve. We cannot afford to backslide from that work, because our future success or failure will be shared, as the issues aren’t contained by lines on maps. Our constituents don’t live life inside the walls of those boundaries, and neither do the services we provide them. We all know that, our work is toward those ends of shared success, and I’m proud to continue that work with you all, ESPECIALLY in these tough times.

As we move forward, I look forward to our continued work together, learning from each other, and finding ways to more efficiently and effectively serve our citizens. You have my sincere respect for the tough work you do, and my continued commitment to help make all of our work better together.

Thanks again for all you do for our community.

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