No one likes to be bullied

It’s hard to believe that 50 years of the Hillsboro Arts & Grafts Fair was celebrated this past Saturday. I can remember when it first began (yes, I was 11 years old at the time). Fifty years can only happen because some people had a vision and then a lot of other people caught the vision and kept it going for a long, long time. It has become de rigueur (meaning socially obligatory, proper, or required by custom) when talking with anyone from outside our community about Hillsboro, to mention the Fair in describing our town. As someone who has traveled the United States extensively I’m always amazed at how many people have heard of it.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Cait Hall and her team for all the hard work that they put into making this particular fair go off like clockwork. Other than a brief shower (which did little to dampen the spirits of the shoppers) the day appeared to be a smashing success. It takes so many people to pull this off, from the Arts & Crafts Association members and volunteers to our dedicated City of Hillsboro employees (Police, Fire, Streets, Electric, Water, Recreation, Office Staff… yeah pretty much the entire team) and everyone performed their roles in great fashion. Thanks to you all! Great job!

A “Grand” Street Project

Another HUGE thanks need to go out to Dale Dalke and his “Grand Street Paving Company” (that is all the hundred-plus volunteers we were able to bring together) to get the bricks laid back down to complete the Grand Street rebuild.

They did a fantastic job and it’s hard to imagine any community that would come together any better than Hillsboro did to pull off such a labor-intensive project as this was. So many hot hours were spent cleaning, carrying and laying bricks.

The street is beautiful and certainly keeps the historical feel of the original street in that two-block section. Of course, the additional parking that was included has been a great addition and is already helping reduce parking problems and street congestion around the Hillsboro Middle High School the Historic Schaeffler House. Thanks again Dale and your crew for the excellent work. I would also like to thank Hett Construction for their great work as well. On time and on budget and a quality job. Well done Davey and crew.

A “Great” Opportunity to Save

I’m very excited to report to you that the City of Hillsboro was able to take advantage of lower interest rates in the bond market to refinance two of our oldest and largest bond issues.

Not only were we able to save the city $1,070,000 dollars, we are going to be able to retire the debt four years sooner than the initial financing allowed for. With the help of our Greg Vahrenberg of Raymond James (our cities financial advisor), we were able to move quickly to capture the savings. We lowered the interest rates of these previous issues from 4-1/2% and 4-3/8% respectively to 3.4%. We plan to use the savings to build our fund balances in the General Fund and that will help allow us to manage our mill levy requirements going forward.

A “Gratifying” Experience

I got to spend time again with Mr. Knoll’s senior government class last week on Monday. It’s always a fun time interacting with them and seeing the next generation of Hillsboro leaders coming up the ranks. I always start the presentation with a photo of yours truly as a senior at Hillsboro High School vintage 1976. As you can imagine, it garners some strange reactions. I always ask why they think I showed them that picture.

The first time I showed it a student in the back row raised her hand and said, “I think it means that anyone can be Mayor?”… I laugh every time I think about it because she is absolutely right! I use it to tell them that they too should consider opportunities to serve the communities that they live in (and I always invite them to make Hillsboro that choice). Thanks to Mr. Knoll for the opportunity!

That’s it for today, until next time, I’m on City Watch!