August 15, 2020
For today’s update – we’d like to talk about the update itself.
When I was first elected Mayor, my longtime friend Craig Stephens suggested that I put out a progress report talking about everything going on around town. Going on 12 years now, we’ve sent these reports to the Current-Argus once or twice a month.
We began submitting these updates more frequently in mid-March after speaking with Current-Argus editor Jessica Onsurez, who graciously offered us some print space when information about the COVID-19 outbreak first reached New Mexico. During that week, there were a number of rumors flying around town that our grocery stores were going to close, and we wanted to help debunk those rumors. For reference, that was around the same time everyone was buying lots of toilet paper. We also wanted to reassure our residents that basic city services, such as utilities and trash pickup, were not going to be interrupted. There was a great deal of uncertainty going on at that time.
Since then, we have been honored to provide almost daily updates. By our count, there have been more than 120 reports since March 13. Together, they’d form a 175 page book.
While the original focus was intended to keep tabs on the city’s and the community’s response to COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdown, we have also used these reports to discuss other issues of importance to our community, such as roadwork, school development and even the arrival of a Vietnam-era helicopter. Our favorite updates are always when we can celebrate the incredible generosity and accomplishments of our citizens.
We have stayed in frequent contact with Artesia Mayor Raye Miller, Loving Mayor Pete Estrada, Superintendent Gerry Washburn, Commissioner Susan Crockett, former City Administrator Steve McCutcheon and especially Eddy County Manager Al Davis throughout this ordeal, as well as with our area’s legislative delegation and our first responders.
Members of our administrative team, John Lowe, Wendy Austin and KC Cass, as well as PIO Kyle Marksteiner, assist with the daily compiling and gathering of information to share with the community. Other agencies and organizations, including Carlsbad Medical Center, Eddy County, Carlsbad Municipal Schools, the United Way of Eddy County and Artesia General Hospital, have been very helpful with keeping us informed. We frequently send questions to the New Mexico Environment Department and Health Department to attempt to clarify various issues.
The updates run on our Facebook page, our city web page and in the Current-Argus. We also send them to other local media outlets. Over the past few months, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback about these updates.
Our first goal is always to inform, but we also want to help do what we can to keep our community tied together. So many of our residents aren’t getting to keep up with their friends and neighbors as much as they would like right now. While we can’t replace that personal contact, our hope is that, in some small way, we can help keep all of our residents informed and united.
Many former residents of Carlsbad also like to keep up with how everyone here is doing. We always welcome topic ideas and suggestions sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and look forward to hearing from you.
There have been a lot of changes since March 13, but unfortunately, that high level of uncertainty still exists. We’re not going anywhere – and we plan to maintain continual contact for the foreseeable future.
Thanks again to the Current-Argus for its support. Mostly, thank you to everyone in Carlsbad for making this such a wonderful community.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway