Mayor’s Message: what should Fircrest be like 20 years from now?

Mayor’s Message for the August 2018 Town Topics newsletter

When people ask you what it’s like to live in Fircrest, what do you tell them? Can you define what it is that makes Fircrest feel so special?

The seven members of the Fircrest City Council joined with the city’s department heads in a half-day workshop in June to talk about our collective mission, vision and goals. A mission statement should define the city’s objectives and approach. In other words, it reflects who we are. The vision statement should reflect who we want to be in the future.

We started our workshop by talking about the current mission and vision statements, which were written years ago:

Mission: To enhance the quality of life where we live, work, and play, the City of Fircrest provides its citizens with efficient, courteous, professional services.

Vision: To protect and enhance our identity and quality of life and promote open and honest communication that builds a trusting environment. We will inspire a stronger community by working together toward excellence.

Personally, I feel those statements are accurate, but too generic. They could be written for lots of nice cities and towns. As our workshop discussion revealed, there were words, phrases and descriptions that speak in greater detail to who we want to be. In response to the question of what should Fircrest look like 10 to 20 years from now, here is some of what I heard that day:

Fircrest is family friendly. Our neighborhoods are safe, healthy, accessible, and connected. We remain true to the historic designs when the city was founded. Remodels and infill projects fit within the scale and character of neighborhoods. Neighbors look out for each other. Residents volunteer their time and talent to support the city, and they give constructive feedback to local leaders to help boost pride in living here.

The pool and community center are beloved sources of pride, and our efforts to update them reflect the needs of the community. We love our parks, trees and landscapes. The city works to protect and nurture our beautiful natural environment. Our commercial areas are an important asset to the community and offer goods and services that our residents desire. Our infrastructure — the backbone of the community — is sound and regularly maintained. Fircrest continues to feel like a small town even as it engages in the larger metropolitan area.

That last line is a key one, in my opinion. There’s a feeling people get when they enter Fircrest, and it’s a challenge to capture that feeling in the dry language of municipal codes that regulate development. We will never stop trying to figure out how to write codes that nurture the city’s character in a rapidly changing world.

What do you think? Did we miss anything? Feel free to send me your thoughts and I will share them with the City Council and staff. You can reach me at hgeorge@cityoffircrest.net or 115 Ramsdell St., Fircrest, WA 98466.

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