It's time to get back to the original purpose of West Valley Families.
In 2014, I started West Valley Families as a resource guide. As a parent, it was hard for me to find local events. Since then, our web calendar has been filled monthly with local events showcasing all the great things happening in the southwest and west valleys of Phoenix, Arizona.
The other purpose of West Valley Families was to be the eyes and ears of the west Valley.
Local news is sparse in this area. I'm a retired journalist and it's frustrating to me that we really don't know what's happening here.
I was happy to see the West Valley View newspaper come under new management. But, it's impossible for the small outlet to cover some of the most important topics in this growing region.
2018 has been a very challenging time for my family. I got away from covering Goodyear City Council meetings. I've grown my own company. And I'm the mom of a very social teenager.
Even though I served on the local Water Conservation Committee in Goodyear for the past two years, my focus was pulled away from local politics. (I enjoyed the respite.)
Unbeknown to me, a local councilmember went on a rant on a competing Facebook page for the past several weeks, thinking she was talking to me.
When brought to light, the other page acknowledged I had no affiliation with it and stated, "Apparently, some councilmembers aren't very happy about it [their page] and want us silenced."
I do not have any affiliation with Goodyear Guardian or Citizens for a Stronger Goodyear. (You can find those pages by clicking on the links.)
But, I am the creator of West Valley Families and its Estrella counterpart. If I have something to say, my name is on it. I don't hind behind anonymous Facebook pages. You'll also find me taking my concerns to City Council meetings. You may recall my concern about longer than average response times and a request for fire stations in Estrella and the west Valley here.
*By the way: Estrella's fire station is on track to open in fall 2019. The west Goodyear station would be open in late 2020. Track each station's progress at http://www.goodyearaz.gov/government/city-projects.
With another spring election coming up and candidate packets being available soon, it's time to get back to covering Goodyear meetings.
Councilmember Joanne Osborne is stepping down soon and I'm excited about one of the potential residents looking to fill the vacated seat. More on that later...
I will always stay true to my vision of being a positive force in the west Valley. I saw Goodyear through the All-America City competition in 2008. There's so much good here. The City continues to collaborate to make great things happen here.
But, it's time to get back to seeing what our lawmakers are doing. And that's the "why" I plan to get back to over this summer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer Barber is a Goodyear resident resident of almost 20 years and a retired broadcast news journalist. Involved in various nonprofit and city organizations since 2008, Barber has a unique view of what's happening in the West Valley of Arizona.