Northwest NEWS

January 7, 2002

Editorial

City appreciates input; concerns will be addressed

We would like to respond to the letter written in the Dec. 17 issue of The Valley View concerning the holiday tree lighting ceremony in Duvall. A Duvall family had an unhappy experience with the planned events of the evening of Dec. 8. The letter will be taken as a learning experience for the city.
   The city would like to emphasize that we cannot plan or budget for the eight-plus city events without asking for donations, partnering with the Duvall Chamber of Commerce and asking for volunteers from city employees and community members.
   The city of Duvall budget for the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony was $2,640. This includes gravel, electrical cords, the rental of a scissor lift and labor paid during the day to city employees to prepare for the evening. We were a little over budget, so employees who worked all evening volunteered their time. It is important to realize that decisions the community wants the city to make toward accountability and cost controls make it advantageous for the city to use volunteers and donations. The city enjoys being able to have functions that bring citizens together, but the main focus of the city is to provide basic services to the citizens, so functions are not as highly polished as those in some other communities.
   Many donations were thoughtfully provided by area businesses and effectively coordinated by the Duvall Chamber of Commerce. It is not easy to provide for an event when you don't know how weather or other events will affect attendance. Routes and plans changed that evening due to the weather and crowd.
   We would like to thank the letter writer for stating her concerns regarding accessibility of the hayride. The city will continue to work toward accessibility for everyone at all events.
   We invite all citizens to participate in the planning of citywide celebrations. Input is vital and concerns will be addressed. If any citizens would like to participate in planning or volunteering at a citywide function, please call (425) 788-1185 and leave a message for the mayor.
   Elizabeth Goode, Director of Public Works
   Becky Nixon, Mayor of Duvall