As I write this, we are six weeks into staying at home, social distancing and uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Since mid-March, we have slowed down in ways we would have resisted normally and made adjustments I am not sure we could have imagined when the year started.
The state of Ohio has widely been praised as an early and aggressive adopter of tactics to dramatically reduce risks of contagion.
Thus far, together, we have avoided overburdening our health-care system. I am proud to say I have observed Westerville's strong compliance and resolve in responding to these guidelines.
Child care, working from home, schoolwork, grocery shopping and even recreation have needed careful planning, and Westerville has risen to the challenge.
Not enough praise can be given to the "essential" workforce.
The men and women include -- but are not limited to -- public-safety professionals, grocery and distribution workers, delivery drivers, food-service professionals and many more, and they are getting us through this crisis.
I like the idea that we all have a newfound respect for every single person who contributes to every level of a healthy and strong economy.
I can tell you city of Westerville public employees are steadfast in providing the continuity of service you need in a time like this. The professional crews in public service and utilities, along with all of our public-safety police and fire first responders, are among 10 city departments working to ensure delivery of critical public services.
Westerville City Council is at-work, as well, having authorized emergency measures and last month offering a utility bill holiday for March bills due in April.
Through careful and conservative financial planning and policy, council and the administration found a way to offer this $5.5 million relief program for residents and businesses alike.
If you're able, we encourage you to "pay it forward" by helping a Westerville-based charity or nonprofit. (More information is available at westerville.org/covid19.)
Our goal is to ensure public services and programs remain as seamless as possible for residents.
Like other businesses, the city had to make some adjustments and even some difficult cancellations. But we will be back with some of the community's well-loved programs, be it parks and recreation events, special celebrations or simply a stroll through Uptown for ice cream or shopping.
The ability of the city to ensure continuity of service is in large measure because of the conservative fiscal management practices established over the years.
This ensures adequate reserves are maintained in the city's operating and capital funds when a major disruption occurs to revenue sources during a severe recession or major disruptive events like a pandemic.
This fiscal discipline has been recognized repeatedly by the likes of the Government Finance Officers Association and bond-rating agencies, which have graded Westerville debt with the highest achievable rating.
Until we can come together in-person again, please make sure you are putting yourself on the "care" list. As we head toward a time of recovery, remember our families and friends rely on us to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.
Stay well by making your own physical and mental health a priority and by abiding by the social-distancing requirements offered by our public-health leaders.
It has been an uncertain, difficult time for all of us, but I am optimistic about our community's future and eventually getting back to some semblance of "normal," like visiting family and friends again and watching fireworks together on the Fourth of July.
Keep putting that positive energy into our community, and we will "see" you soon.
Westerville City Manager David Collinsworth submitted the City Notes column.