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Mayor’s Message: Never forget our veterans’ sacrifices

I certainly enjoyed the inaugural first edition of the Greenleaf Guardian last week and I know you did too!

This week I want to point out a couple items that are important to our community.

Monday, November 11th is Veteran’s Day. Whittier has a special place in its heart for our Vets, our active duty service personnel and their families. For a number of years the City has hosted a Veteran’s Day celebration at the Peace Memorial on the grounds of City Hall. It has always been a special time of recognition and remembrance and this year promises to again stand out as a memorable morning.

And I want to make a plea to our community…I am concerned that our children and grandchildren learn about our veterans and active duty military…their sacrifices and the sacrifice of their families…that our liberty and way of life comes at a cost…a cost immeasurable in so many ways yet so tangible to our veterans, active duty military and their families. Parents, I am asking you to bring your children to experience the importance of paying tribute. Please come to Whittier City Hall on Monday, November 11, 2019 at 9:00 am.

Our excellent City Manager, Jeff Collier, is stepping down soon to move into the ranks of the happily retired. Jeff will be leaving on November 27, 2019, but more information about that later. In the meantime I want to tell you about the search we have undertaken for his successor.

One of the most important tasks of your City Council is to find and retain a qualified city manager to continue forward the progress we have been making in the City.

When Jeff informed us of his retirement, the City Council went into replacement action mode by engaging a consultant well-known in California circles for bringing in qualified city managers. Mr. Bill Avery has been assisting your City Council for approximately four months now. This is no simple matter and we have had a series of closed session meetings (three in the month of October alone) and engaged in a number of interviews which brought our list of over 30 candidates down to a short list of three.

As you can imagine, being city manager is the same as being the CEO of a large corporation. Managing over 400 employees in various City departments (Police, Public Works, Community Development, Library, Parks & Recreation, City Clerk and Administrative Services) is critical. But not only is the city manager responsible for these various departments but the city manager is also there to provide counsel and guidance to the city council as it deals with various city policy issues such as city finances, bringing new business, homelessness and a myriad of other issues.

So who is the new city manager of Whittier? Unfortunately, I can’t tell you as I write this column because that news is embargoed until Friday afternoon when the City will issue a press release.

Keep your eyes peeled. But I can tell you that the council and I have full confidence in our new city manager choice…and you will too!

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