Summer fun and a time for vision

◼ Recreating. A lot is going on in Hillsboro this June. Our city recreation programs are in full swing: Blast Ball; T-ball; Machine Pitch; baseball; softball; swim team; tennis camp; drama camp; golf camp; baseball clinic; summer volleyball camp; youth volleyball league; Pitch, Hit & Run; Summer Craft Camp and finally STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Camp are all happening—or have already happened.

Wow, you would think with school out things would quiet down a bit, but these activities are all part of what makes Hillsboro an affordable and family-friendly place to live. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Doug Sisk, our recreation director, and all the people on his team that make these programs fun, healthy and educational for us all.

◼ VISIONING. What is our vision for Hillsboro’s future? Where do we want to be as a city going forward? These are questions that we in city government are working on.

We have seen a number of transitions during this past year in Hillsboro: in leadership, in business and in our schools, there have been significant changes. Some of them great, some good and some we don’t feel so good about.

Our downtown, our Main Street, is one of those areas in transition. What do we want our downtown corridor to be like in the future? We know it can’t go back to being what it was when some of us were younger. Nothing stays exactly the same, but what could it be like? What should it be like?

I believe it is going to take a lot of work and commitment from all of us to (1) figure out those things and then (2) put a plan in place to bring that vision to fruition.

This month, Larry Paine, our city administrator; Anthony Roy, our economic development director; and I will be traveling to other cities to see how they are addressing these questions and if some of their successful ideas might translate to Hillsboro.

I look forward to reporting back to you in future columns about these visits and what we will have learned from them. In the meantime, I would appreciate hearing from you. Your input and ultimate participation in the future of our community will be critical to our success.

◼ REPORTING. As you may have already been aware, the City of Hillsboro received our annual audit report from Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball, our certified public accountants. As citizens of Hillsboro, this report is one way you can be assured that your city funds are being managed properly and wisely.

In his 10 years serving as Hillsboro’s city administrator, Larry Paine has proven himself to be an excellent financial steward of our money.

Maximizing our dollars through grants, smart financing and building up the necessary reserve funds to ensure that money is available to repair and replace our equipment and infrastructure, he and his team have done an excellent job.

I am proud to report to you there were no significant findings or any other issues with our audit. Our city finances are in very capable hands.

I have been getting some positive comments on this column, and I thank you for them. However, I hope if there are areas to improve on that you, will do me the favor of letting me know about those as well. I’m still learning and growing as mayor, and I truly desire your input and feedback.

I hope your summer is starting off well, and I look forward to reporting back to you in the next City Watch! Lou Thurston is the Mayor of Hillsboro.

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