When The Advocate last spoke with Julie Manning, her Monday schedule as then-mayor of Corvallis was phenomenally full of conferences with community volunteers and other officials. Meetings continue to fill much of her Monday schedule, and she’s still hard at work on a number of projects with a wide range of community organizations and helpers of all sorts around Corvallis. Now, she says, they’re focused mostly on health-related initiatives and fewer events now entangle her evenings and weekends.
Since her term as mayor, instead of heading off to work at City Hall, Manning is back at her office at Samaritan Health where she serves as Vice President of Marketing, Public Relations and Community Health Promotion. She also still finds time to sing with the choir group she belongs to, the Corvallis Repertory Singers.
“Among the things I miss about being mayor,” Manning said, “is meeting with students and representing the city at events and activities. I also enjoyed meeting many local residents who are sharing their time and expertise to make a positive impact on the city.” Getting to spend time with those that choose to dedicate their efforts in the service of others is a steadfast source of joy that the former mayor and many of us here at the Advocate seem to have in common.
The high level of public participation around the city, Manning said, means Corvallis is able to “live larger” than many other cities of our size, and there’s certainly plenty more room at the table. If you’re interested in getting to know how Corvallis operates—you’d like to make a difference, and aren’t quite sure where to start—Manning has this advice:
“Serving on a local advisory board for the city or county can provide a great introduction to policy work and decision-making. We also have many active neighborhood associations, and there are ongoing opportunities to serve on the boards of local non-profit organizations. I also believe programs such as Leadership Corvallis provide a strong framework for understanding and becoming more involved in community decision-making.”
For any who may be interested, Manning added, the city’s recently updated 2040 Vision document is another way to find out about community involvement already in the works. More information about this can be found at www.corvallisoregon.gov/index.
Manning also noted, “Serving as mayor gave me a deeper appreciation for the time and expertise our local elected officials (many of whom are volunteers) bring to their work, as well as the excellent support they receive from the staff. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated individuals who are willing to contribute in these ways to make our community a better place to live and work.”
We are fortunate indeed to have so many dedicated individuals like Manning in Corvallis that offer this town not just their time and expertise, but a steadfast voice of optimism. The persistent daily efforts of these sorts of philanthropic folks are always a privilege to report.
By Matthew Hunt