Monday, March 29, 2010

None of the Above

As City Manager of Fontana, I have been afforded the opportunity to be involved in many exciting projects within the City. I consider myself to be very fortunate to have been associated with an organization that has accomplished so much during the past eleven years.

The Mayor and City Council have done a wonderful job in creating a vision for this community and then taking the actions needed to turn that vision into a reality.

Some of the projects we have been able to work on that have made a difference within Fontana include the construction of the Lewis Library, the Sierra Interchange, Fontana Park, Heritage Community Center, Jack Bulik Park Renovation, Baseline Avenue, Cypress Overpass, Fontana Aquatics Center, Senior Community Center, Center Stage, Town Square, Sierra Lakes Golf Course, Vets Park Renovation, Almeria Park, Cherry Avenue, Foothill Boulevard, Bill Martin Park Renovation, Fernandez Park, Pacific Electric Trail System, Four Phases of Senior Housing, Jessie Turner Center, Jurupa Avenue, Paramedics, Fontana Fire District, Downtown Fa├žade, Empire Center, Annexations and the soon to be constructed Citrus and Cherry Interchanges. This is just a partial list, but I am sure you get the point.

A staff member recently posed the following question to me: “If I were to leave the City tomorrow, what accomplishment would I highlight as being the most important?” The answer is very easy - none of the above.

It’s the people, it’s the community, and it’s the Fontana family.

Some thoughts on my experiences….

-I recently had occasion to be walking back to City Hall from the Lewis Library at about 9:00 in the evening. I left the Steelworkers’ Auditorium, walking north across the Pacific Electric Trail and saw parents with their kids enjoying the evening in safety, walking the trail system in downtown Fontana.

-I was at an event at Miller Park last summer and watched several hundred socially diverse residents and families enjoying an evening of music and dancing under the stars.

-Last fall, I was at a swim meet at the Fontana Aquatics Center watching better than a thousand kids competing at our facility from all over the State of California and in awe of the community’s facilities.
A month ago I stopped by Jack Bulik Park and listened to parents shout encouragement to their kids competing in roller hockey.

-I talked to a new resident in our new senior housing facility and listened as they broke down in tears because they were so excited about being able to call Fontana their home.

- With the recent economic downturn, I sat in humble awe as employees across this entire City gave up raises and made other concessions voluntarily because they wanted to be part of the solution for the community.

It’s all about Fontana pride and it is a very special place of which to be a part. It is the community of Fontana in which I take most pride.

I wish to thank the Mayor and City Council for their trust in allowing me to be a small part of it all.