This edition of the City Manager’s Blog features a recap of Christmas in Hopelands 2017, a partnership announcement with Aiken Technical College, the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, and an update on the City’s United Way Campaign.

Christmas in Hopelands
2017 Christmas in Hopelands was open for eleven of the scheduled thirteen nights, losing two nights to inclement weather.  The Toal attendance for the eleven nights was 21,491 which is an average of almost 2,000 per night.   A huge “thank you” to all who attended and also to all of the individuals, groups, and organizations who volunteered to make it such a successful event as well as a family tradition for many Aiken residents.

Supervisor Training
The City of Aiken has partnered with Aiken Technical College to revamp supervisory training.  The first round will be Boot Camp Overview conducted January 17th, 24th, and 31st for senior managers.  The second round is one day per month for ten months with graduation celebration for mid-level managers.  We have also scheduled Sexual Harassment Training on February 7th with our employment attorneys from Gignilliat, Savitz & Bettis LLP out of Columbia, South Carolina.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
Council will receive their copy of our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ended June 30, 2017.  We have submitted the report to the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for review.  The CAFR will be judged by an impartial panel to determine if it meets the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.  The City has been recognized for 25 consecutive years with a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial.  The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.  This is the first time in 26 years that the cover has changed.  It matches the cover of the budget for the fiscal year ended 2017.

United Way Campaign
The City of Aiken exceeded their goal of $11,000 for the United Way.  The final total was $12,262.00.

Commendations
Tennis Program Supervisor Mark Calvert received an email from Ms. Ruby Long complimenting Facilities Assistant Beth Nolan.  She stated how much everyone appreciates Beth.  Ms. Long said she has been a member of Odell for almost ten years, and has found Beth is the best.  She always has a smile and a warm welcome to all who come to the desk.  She performs her job to the fullest, and goes well beyond her duties.  We’re all thankful for Beth
Tennis Program Supervisor Mark Calvert received an email from Ms. Janet Pfenninger singing praises for Facilities Assistant Beth Nolan.  She stated when she came to Aiken 9 years ago, she knew she wanted to play tennis.  She had to choose a facility and there were many to pick from.  She is glad that she chose Odell Tennis Center.  It is a beautiful tennis facility.  The amount of courts and their condition compare to no other, but, it is the people who work here that make Odell so great.  She stated Beth is one of those people.  Whether she calls up or signs in at the desk, Beth is always friendly and helpful.  She is a ‘people person’ and that’s what you need.  Beth goes above and beyond to make things go smoothly and to make us all feel welcomed.  When another team is being hosted, Beth is right there pitching in, making sure the crockpot is plugged in, that the food is out, etc.  She helped get the Christmas trees ready for decorating this year and even helped, when she could, with hanging some ornaments.  They saw lots of homemade cakes and cookies on the counter thanks to Beth.  Just recently, when the women tennis fanatics were out in the cold playing, Beth called out that hot chocolate was ready for anyone who would like some.  She’s a gem and we are all very fond of her.

Upcoming City Events:

Tuesday, January 9 at 6:00PM:
The Planning Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting in Council Chambers, Second Floor of the Municipal Building, 214 Park Ave., SW.  A work session will be in Room 2204 at 5:00PM.

Wednesday, January 10 at 10:00AM:
Aiken Corporation’s Executive Committee will meet in Room 204 of the Municipal Building, 214 Park Ave., SW.

Monday, January 15:
City offices will be closed in observance of the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

Monday, January 22 at 7:00PM:
The next regularly-scheduled City Council meeting will be held in Council Chambers, Second Floor of the Municipal Building, 214 Park Ave., SW.