I’m going to avoid using any names in this column because there are too many to list. I would just like to say “Thank you” to everyone who played a part in passing a bond measure to help build a new police station and fire hall in Albany. These facilities represent an investment in our future and should serve the community for many years to come.
I believe the success of this measure was due in large part to strong leadership, not just from the City Council, but from many respected voices in the community. I’m sure voters asked themselves why so many people from such varied backgrounds contributed their time, talents, and money to help pass the bond measure. The only answer I have that makes sense is that they believe we need the facilities to help ensure quality emergency services now and in the future. Some of those who contributed may never need those services, but they realize a community’s health depends on its civic infrastructure. Voters this week chose the same path that citizens followed when they built Central Elementary School, the Linn County Courthouse, Albany City Hall, and the many other facilities that have served our community well for decades.
Opponents of the measure also played an important role in the process by focusing attention on questions related to cost, location, and need. The measure that passed this week earned voter approval by withstanding rigorous scrutiny and criticism. I think all of those who will be involved in the building of the new stations appreciate the importance of constructing high quality buildings within a well-managed budget. We accomplished that goal with the Albany Public Library, and I am confident we will do it again with these facilities.
I have noted before that one of the great benefits of doing this work is the opportunity to see so many selfless people working to better their community with no thought of financial compensation, celebrity, or other tangible benefits. Whether it’s a mayor who is willing to meet with anyone to discuss concerns or a retiree who volunteers to drive senior citizens to medical appointments, I see people everyday who dedicate themselves to helping others. I feel privileged to live and work in a place that inspires these contributions and provides such a great example for people like me. Albany is special because people care enough to keep investing themselves in making it better.