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A new year

Looking forward to 2017

January 13, 2017
Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez - Webster City City Manager , OurHomeTownWebsterCity.com

It is hard to imagine that another year has come and gone. 2017 is here now and there is something in the air, and it is not just the smell of Lomita's restaurant lunch menu being blown into City Hall and making everyone here hungry. For me personally it has been a roller coaster year filled with excitement, blessings, and a warm welcome to Webster City. I came to Webster City in August and found a warm community open to new ideas and opportunities. When I officially started, I was greeted by super heroes, witches, ghosts, and all sorts of scary and silly characters roaming the downtown streets in search of Halloween candy and treats. I must admit I knew our population was diverse but I didn't expect anything like this.

It is no secret that my wife and I originally grew up in Los Angeles. We get asked a variety of questions regarding our transition to Iowa. Mainly why did we decide to move to Webster City and how do we like the cold? To answer the second question, Rachel has a closet full of jackets, sweaters, and warm clothing. I would hope that would be enough but she still gets cold. As for why Iowa and Webster City, we were drawn by the values common in Midwest communities such as Webster City. Values such as the notion of courteousness, thoughtfulness, friendliness, community pride, and the importance of family brought us here.

Early on I was asked what do I want to change or see that can be improved in the City? Jokingly I have said that there is a light bulb or two that are burnt out and need to be replaced. In reality there's two in my office alone and a few elsewhere in the City. Humor aside, the notion of "change" can have a variety of different meanings and stimulate equally different emotions. Instead let us focus on the community's strengths. The strengths of the community are not based solely on any single aspect or physical and tangible objects likes roads, cars, street lights, major attractions, or brick and mortar shops. The strength of Webster City is found and reinforced in every segment of our community. It comes from the values we instill in our youth and students. You can find it in the people who work hard to restore power after an outage, or the crews who work late into the night after a snow storm just before Christmas, or the men and women in uniform who not only answer the call for help but who also go out of their way to ensure families have a memorable Christmas. Strength is shown to visitors who are greeted at the gas station or the coffee shop and newcomers that are welcomed to town. Strength is found in the community pride exhibited at high school football games and the caravan that follow them to the UNI-Dome. It is also displayed by the volunteers and sponsors who help put together community events such as the VDMC Auxiliary Election Day Luncheon, Holiday Fair at the ACE Community Center, and the carolers who entertain downtown shoppers and business owners just before the downtown Christmas tree is lit.

Article Photos

Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez, Webster City City Manager

Our community's strength and resiliency comes from all around us but it begins with each of us. As we look towards the future and rely on our community's leaders to make decisions that help chart our future course, let us not forget that there is not always an easy decision to make. As we move forward we have to remember that Webster City is our home. Its greatest assets that do not cost a dime to market are the values and people who make our community a great place to live. With this in mind, it is not about what can change but about what we can build on and what each of us individually and collectively can do.

 
 
 

 

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