Letter from our Mayor, Wendy Pray

Letter from our Mayor, Wendy Pray

21 August 2019

Dear Fellow Citizens,

As I sat tonight and watched the fire rage on West Mountain, I’m sure I was not alone as feelings from last year came flooding back to me. I remembered how helpless we all felt as we watched our mountain burn. I remembered how much we all love our little city and how very, very grateful we all were to come home again. We care for each other so fiercely and were so glad not to lose our wonderful community.

We have, over the past few weeks, held some hard discussions. It has left some of us bruised along the way. I think we have the capacity to step back and remember that we love each other, and that we all love Woodland Hills. We were drawn here for the beauty, but we have stayed for the community. Let’s not let that get away from us now as we face some hard discussions about the way our City is run.

Can we remember to give each other the benefit of the doubt? We may differ in priorities and in approach, but let’s all remember that everyone wants our city to be the best little city we can make it. The differences between us are not between good and evil. They are preferences and styles. Those differences are hard to accept sometimes, but they are also what makes us such a great and strong community.

As we conclude our debate on the City’s budget for this next year, I encourage you to involve yourselves in the debate, but I also urge you to remember that there are many voices speaking many different things. Some of those voices are louder than others, but I am confident this City Council will truly do their best to represent all of you and make the best decisions they can for our City.

As we head into an election this Fall, I encourage all of us to keep our messages and discussions civil. How can we build our City and make it better? How can each of us contribute to that building without criticizing each other and tearing each other down? How can we point out weaknesses without pointing fingers?

Following our meeting the other night, I was amazed and gratified by those of you who contacted me with offers of your personal skills to help improve areas where we are weak and could use some help. Thank you for that! I have also been overwhelmed by the personal messages of support and love for the service I have rendered. Much of the credit that comes to me, however, has been earned by the silent and selfless service of many of you and your fellow citizens. I am grateful to all of you. Remember as you see each other around town, or in the store, or at church, or posting on social media, that those you interact with may be part of that silent service. Be grateful. And gracious.

I’m certain that some of you are unhappy about some of the circumstances in our city at this time. Some of you will not be pleased no matter what happens, but I assure you I will continue to serve you all to the best of my ability. In the two short years since I have had the pleasure to serve as your mayor, we have made great strides toward future visioning and planning; we survived a fire; we have “weathered” a couple of major flooding threats; and we are making progress toward openness and accessibility. Without a large staff, you would be surprised how difficult that can sometimes be, but I, and your City staff and other public servants are firmly committed to these goals. Please help us along this path.

I’m so grateful for you and for our little City. I never want to live anywhere else. Thanks for being who you are, and let’s become our best selves. (But let’s keep just how special Woodland Hills is our little secret. {wink, wink} )

Warmly,

Mayor Pray