Local Cultural News

From the mayor’s desk: by Meadow Martell

It’s been a busy summer with family, friends, meeting new people, and catching up with old friends not often seen. Inevitably one of the first questions I get asked is “What is it like being mayor and why do you do it?” My first response, “It’s interesting” and the second response, “It’s challenging, and I like a good challenge.”
Mayors have been around since 14th Century England. All 241 incorporated cities in Oregon have a mayor, from the largest Portland (pop. 668,773) to the smallest Greenhorn (pop. 3). The mayor is the primary spokesperson for the city, elected by the people, and its most visible image. As the leader in the community the mayor shares and portrays the culture, style, ideas, what the city is – and more importantly what it wants to be.
On a practical level the mayor presides over the elected city council conducting city business including making the city’s laws and regulations. Mayors in Oregon work together and coordinate with leadership of other cities, counties, and the State of Oregon through such organizations as the Oregon Mayors Association and the League of Oregon Cities. The work is important and can be time-consuming. Almost all mayors and their councils in Oregon serve their communities as unpaid volunteers.
The bottom line for me is the mayor is a busy person, an important person, but important and busy only in the service of the citizens of the community. As well as the many other volunteers and organizations in the community, mayors bring ideas, energy, and wisdom together at the top to make their communities a better place to live, better for all.
Cities are important in our modern world. They are geographic spaces dense with legal, commercial, financial, and even cultural expertise. They allow large populations of individual who do not know each other to live and interact with one another in relative harmony. City government maintains city facilities such as parks, streets and lights and provides services such as water, sewer, runoff collection, addresses zoning and building regulations, and works with law enforcement agencies.
It is distressing and detrimental to our community when people put out “fake news” about the city of Cave Junction. The latest one I heard is the city was responsible for SOFCU leaving because we wouldn’t allow them to expand. This is patently false and if you participated in the community call with the SOFCU Chairman of the Board you would know that it is not even remotely true.
Please stay cool during hot days and have a good week.