The Perris City Hall Campus provided the perfect spot to host Public Service Day May 11 as the events drew lots of enthusiastic people seeking to learn more about the many services provided by Perris municipal employees.
Animal control, housing, building and safety, parks and recreation, code enforcement and public works workers explained their jobs and their commitment to making Perris a well-run and caring community.
The City’s first Public Service Day combined Building and Safety Month and Public Works Week, said Veronica Arana, the Perris Counter Supervisor who organized the event.
“We feel it’s important to show the many services we provide to the public and explain the services each department specializes in,” Arana said. “It’s a great opportunity to interact with the public and show what we do.”
Perris Mayor Michael Vargas, Mayor Pro-Tem Malcolm Corona and City Council members David Starr Rabb and Rita Rogers attended the event. It proved the perfect venue to meet and greet constituents, shakes hands, pose for photos and chat with City residents.
“Public Works is the backbone to any city,” Vargas said. “It’s important that we support the men and women in the front lines who are supporting our City. Without them, the infrastructure would fall apart.”
Vargas said that as Mayor, he has attended the daily 6:30 a.m. briefings where Public Works employees learn about which jobs they are scheduled to tackle that day. Public works handles graffiti removal, pothole repairs, maintenance at Perris parks, tree-trimming and a variety of other tasks.
Vargas said of the early-morning briefings: “Very educational.”
Corona called Public Service Day “a great opportunity for our residents to learn what kind of services our City offers them.”
“It’s a way to keep them informed and to improve community outreach,” he said.
Rabb said the event allowed people to meet representatives of various City departments one-on-one to pick up informational brochures, discuss concerns and chat,
“I’m glad people are coming out to learn about the different departments in the City and getting the help they need and seeing the different services Perris offers,” Rabb said. “It’s always good to know who’s who in the City and learn the different resources that are available and who to contact to obtain those resources.”
Rogers said Public Service Day allowed the City to put on its best face while promoting the services it provides. The event also allowed residents to touch base with several of the agencies that also provide services to Perris—including the Perris Police Department and Eastern Municipal Water District.
“It’s important for residents to know what we offer in the City,” Rogers said.
Spreading the word
City representatives handed out brochures, flyers about available service and upcoming events. Animal control officers informed pet owners about free spay and neutering programs available and where to get emergency care for their animals.
Recreation Department coordinators highlighted upcoming events like the Senior Prom, Rods and Rails, tee-ball and basketball leagues and the Movies-in-the-Park program.
Housing Department employees informed folks about how to obtain their credit scores, provided financial information needed to qualify for a home and highlighted Perris programs for first-time home buyers.
Perris resident Arcena Upson picked up information about an upcoming composting workshop as well as brochures about the Senior Prom and Movies in the Park. Upson and her family have called Perris home for 16 years and love it because of “the wonderful atmosphere and environment.”
“There are so many opportunities to thrive in Perris,” Upson said. “Perris cares about its residents and wants them to be informed.”
Vendors who work with the City also were on hand. Home Depot provided model kits so youngsters could assemble wooden boats. Sharon Gartin brought her grandchildren—Candace Calvillo, 11; Caleb Calvillo, 9; Grace Calvillo, 7, and Bethany Calvillo, 6, to try their hands as ship builders.
“The kids are having a great time and that makes me happy too,” Gartin said. “It’s a fun and enjoyable activity to do for the day.”
Candace Cavillo said she found constructing a toy boat educational.
“You get to learn a new experience—making something new,” she said. “It’s fun to build something with your own hands.”
Younger brother Caleb found the construction project a sweet exercise, thanks to goodies provided for the junior builders.
“We get the things to create our own boats,” he said. “And all sorts of candy!”