How Are Things at the City?

The most common question I hear when I’m attending meetings away from City Hall or talking to people around town is, “How are things at the City?”  I tend to be an optimist, so my most frequent response is, “Things are great.”  I know we have problems, but I’m equally sure that on any given day many “things” at the City are great.

I think we have a great City Hall that is well maintained, usually comfortable, and a nice place to work.  I have a few complaints about temperature control from time to time, and I’m not a big fan of cubicles; but I still think City Hall is great, and I feel privileged to work here.

We have great people at the City.  I don’t know everyone who works for the City of Albany; but I know many of our employees, and I enjoy working with them.  We make mistakes, and sometimes people do unacceptable things; however, my view of city employees is that we are generally a good group of people who want to earn our paychecks by providing important services to our community.

Our City Council has been consistently great since I’ve worked in Albany.  I would be very reluctant to write anything disparaging about the City Council under any circumstances for obvious reasons.  If I thought they were less than great, I just wouldn’t write anything at all.  I believe our Council is great because it puts the interests of the community before anything else; has the good judgment to generally do the right thing; and can accommodate strong disagreement while still remaining agreeable. 

I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that if you have great employees and a great Council you have great community members.  We have been fortunate to enjoy the support of citizens who provide the resources needed to maintain important services and make Albany a nice place to live.  Our recently passed public safety levy and the strong business support for events like the Art and Air Festival are good reminders that people appreciate city services.

Great people and facilities help nurture hope and a belief that challenges will be addressed, so that even when “things” may not be great, there is a sense that they will be again.  I have days when some challenges feel like burdens, and it’s hard to remain positive.  Usually what helps me get past those days is another person’s positive attitude.  We have many of those people at the City of Albany, and they are the reason I almost always respond that, “Things are great” when I’m asked how things are at the City.