Volunteering at city events benefits all

By Keith Haydon on November 7, 2018

Haydon, Keith mayor for websiteThe City Council election generated considerable interest in how our city operates and determines future development, among other issues. The candidates and their supporters wanted to know how our favorite community will be developed.

Now that the election is over, I encourage residents to come back together as a community and use this interest in our city to focus on increasing citizen participation in activities that benefit our community.

To a great extent, volunteerism has given Clayton the small-town feel that attracted many of us to this hidden gem at the base of Mt Diablo. One of the ways to increase participation is to volunteer to help at downtown events, such as the Art & Wine Festival, the BBQ Cook-Off and the Oktoberfest, that so many residents have said they want to protect.

The potential sale, at some time in the future, of the city’s downtown property that is used for a portion of these very popular events has been raised as an issue that could jeopardize the events. The city of Clayton does not sponsor or manage these events. They are sponsored and managed by the Clayton Business and Community Association (CBCA), a local, non-profit organization of community volunteers that raises funds for local charities, scholarships, school sports teams and other local projects that benefit the Clayton community.

The CBCA realizes that they will have to revise the layout of their events if the city’s property is sold and developed, but they have designed alternate layouts that will still allow the events to be conducted. So the future use of the city’s downtown property is not expected to jeopardize these events.

Volunteers Needed

However, the continued viability of the events is, in fact, in jeopardy due to the need for new volunteers to help put on the events. The CBCA is losing volunteers who have worked on the events as they age, retire or relocate. The events need new replacements to help with support activities, many of which are just three to four hour shifts to pour beer and wine and sell tickets.  Please consider volunteering to help out, at least for a few hours, when you hear about upcoming events, so the events can continue to be held.

The next big event is the 2019 Art & Wine Festival, scheduled for April 27-28, 2019, so protect that weekend on your calendar to help and attend the festival. You can contact the CBCA at claytoncbca.org for more information.

Other opportunities to volunteer to benefit our Clayton community include the city’s Planning Commission and Trails and Landscape Committee, comprised of volunteers appointed by the Clayton City Council to two-year terms. Volunteers are also needed at the Clayton Historical Society, which preserves Clayton’s history by maintaining the Clayton Museum and historical exhibits; the Clayton Community Library Foundation, which provides volunteer staff and improvements to our excellent Clayton Library; the Clayton Valley Garden Club, which raises funds and provides volunteer services for garden projects at local schools and around town; and other local branches of clubs and organizations.

Taking advantage of these volunteer opportunities is a way to give back to this community that we all love – making it an even better place to live, raise our families and enjoy time with our friends.

As usual, I encourage you to get outside and take advantage of Clayton’s excellent trail system, enjoying our mild fall climate this time of year. Our close proximity to trails in Mt. Diablo State Park and Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve provides a quick escape from the sound of cars or views of homes, giving us a feeling of a national park-like environment only minutes from our homes.  That’s a local secret that adds value to our community and allows quiet recreation as a retreat from our busy lives.

For those who walk the trails with your dogs, please remember that, although Clayton loves dogs and we allow them at all our major events, we also have a leash law that requires dogs to be on leash when walking the trails and on public lands. This is for the protection of other walkers, dogs and animals, as well as your own dogs. Please show your respect for others, and their dogs, by abiding by that leash law.

I hope you have a good month, which includes the Thanksgiving holiday, when we can all be thankful for our good fortune of living in the Clayton community. Feel free to send comments to me at khaydon@ci.clayton.ca.us.

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