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City Manager's Blog

If you have questions or suggestions regarding this blog post, ideas for future blog posts, or any matter of City business, feel free to contact City Manager Tabatha Miller at (707)961-2829.    

Apr 21

Derek Chauvin Conviction

Posted on April 21, 2021 at 11:57 AM by June Lemos

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April 21, 2021

I do not voice my thoughts or even opinions on political or policy issues very often. As City Manager, my role is to implement the policy direction and programs that the City Council establishes, after all they are the individuals elected by the voters. That said, I do feel the need to say something about the verdict announced yesterday that found Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. Listening to the testimony as it was reported by the media in various news outlets, and having watched the original videos and listened to the audio of the death, I certainly was not surprised. However, what I saw that was different in this trial was the number of law enforcement officials who spoke out before, during and after the trial with bold statements condemning Chauvin and his actions.

There is a cultural shift within law enforcement. Police departments are para-military organizations where structure and chain of command are primary protocol in how police departments operate. The response to Floyd was different within law enforcement. It not only indicates the change from within the law enforcement establishment but it empowers officers at all levels to speak up when things are not right and to hold each other accountable. I believe our Fort Bragg officers embrace this way of thinking and I want to assure them that they are empowered to speak up and voice their concerns when things are not right within or outside our organization.

I know that some see support for Black Lives Matter or changes in policing as black and white or for or against police. I don’t. I believe you can support good and just law enforcement, encourage it and embrace it at the same time you ask for or even demand change. I do not believe that defunding police is an answer. I believe the answer is changing the way we police by providing support from mental health, social services and emergency medical treatment, which allows officers to do their job - which is to protect all of us. 

Nov 01

Shopping Local

Posted on November 1, 2019 at 11:17 AM by June Lemos

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November 1, 2019
Shopping Local
While writing the staff report on whether Fort Bragg should regulate formula/chain stores, I read an article that proclaimed loss of foot traffic as the biggest threat to independent businesses - not formula businesses. Loss of foot traffic is blamed on online retailers. The theory was that buyers visit stores, malls and shopping districts less frequently and that formula businesses actually attract shoppers to shopping centers where they stop at or are lured into independent businesses next door or nearby. 
I am not asserting that formula stores are the answer but the article made me think about my changing spending habits. In my twenties and thirties, I worked in pedestrian friendly downtowns and loved shopping at lunch or on the way home or to the transit stop. Most of my wardrobe from shoes to coats came from my lunch time or after work outings. In fact, most of my shopping took place on these walks. Obviously, I work downtown now but I realize that I don’t pop out at lunch very often to look and buy. I admit these days, I am more likely to surf the internet after work at home for my purchases.
I have heard from a good number of merchants how financially challenging this year has been. Councilmember Morsell-Haye recently closed her shop. As a community, we talk a lot about tourists and getting people here but locals are part of local business vitality. Shopping local supports our community, especially the independent local businesses. It puts money in the pockets of our neighbors, friends and families, which they in turn spend here in our community, supporting other local businesses and so on. It supports our local, county and state governments through sales taxes. While no one loves paying taxes, I would rather support my local government rather than another community or state government.  
Yes, my salary is supported by those local taxes, and so are the other City employees. Like me, they live locally and hopefully spend much of that salary here supporting their favorite local businesses. Not everything can be purchased locally, but I am making that effort to think about where I spend my money and what happens to it when it leaves my hands. 
The tenth annual Small Business Saturday is November 30, 2019, but I encourage all of us to treat most days as small or local business day.
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May 15

City Volunteers

Posted on May 15, 2019 at 3:15 PM by June Lemos

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May 15, 2019
City Volunteers
Monday night, May 13, 2019, before the regularly scheduled City Council meeting, the City held a Volunteer Appreciation Reception to acknowledge and thank those members of our community who give their time, experience and knowledge to the City. The list of commissions, committees, boards and groups who represent the City is surprisingly large. Moreover, the list of individuals who participate on these committees is extensive and deserves a shout out.  
Fort Bragg Planning Commission
The Planning Commission is a five-member board appointed by and serving the City Council. The Commission reviews land use and development permits (use permits, coastal permits, design review permits, subdivisions, etc.) for consistency with the goals and policies of the Fort Bragg Municipal Code. The Commission also provides recommendations to the City Council on General Plan amendments and rezoning requests, and provides direction to the Community Development Department regarding the interpretation of City planning policies and the City Code.  
Fort Bragg Fire Protection Authority
The Fort Bragg Fire Protection Authority, a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) of the City and the Fort Bragg Rural Fire District, oversees fire protection, suppression and emergency rescue operations of the Authority.
Mendocino County Library Advisory Board
The Library Advisory Board meets during the year and assists in developing improvements for Mendocino libraries making the members instrumental in providing educational and recreational materials which fill the needs of a culturally diverse population. The City appoints one member to this Board.
Noyo Harbor Commission
The Noyo Harbor District is a special district that serves the fishing and other marine interests at Noyo Harbor. The District has a five-member board with the City and County each selecting two members and jointly selecting the fifth member. The Harbor District owns the mooring basin and a substantial portion of the property on the south side of the harbor where the parking lot is located. The Harbor District also rents berths to boats anchored at the harbor.  
Bee City USA Committee
The Bee City USA Committee is a volunteer committee established in the fall of 2016 designated to facilitate Fort Bragg’s Bee City USA Program – the first in California! The committee encourages and coordinates local pollinator habitat, and raises awareness about the importance of pollinators to our culture and economy.  
Visit Fort Bragg Committee
The Visit Fort Bragg Committee promotes Fort Bragg as a travel and retail destination. The Committee provides direction on the VFB Marketing and Promotions Action Plan.
The Adopt-A-Street-Program was created in the Spring of 2017 with the goal of helping keep City streets clean and inviting, especially our historic downtown.  Not only do these efforts spruce up the City’s appearance, but assist with storm water protection by removing trash and cigarette butts from our streets and drainage systems.  
Adopt-A-Park Program
The Adopt-A-Park Program helps keep the City Parks clean and inviting.  Volunteers help remove invasive plants, pick up trash and work on park beautification projects. These folks provide much appreciated support to the City’s Public Works Department.
Neighborhood Watch Program
Neighborhood Watch is built on the strength of citizens and encourages neighbors to help fight against crime by working together to lend their neighbors a hand.
Community Emergency Response Team
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps train people to be better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities. When emergencies happen, CERT members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community.
If you are interested in volunteering for one or another of the Committees or Boards, please call (707) 961-2823.