Newly appointed Oakdale City Mayor Cherilyn Bairos shared with The Oakdale Leader her hopes and aspirations as the city’s new mayor as she prepares to navigate new challenges and endeavors to put Oakdale’s best foot forward for the future.
What are your hopes and aspirations representing Oakdale as the newly appointed mayor?
As an Oakdale born and raised community member, it has always been my hope to see our town grow and thrive, while honoring its history and traditions. As Mayor, I would like to see how we can benefit from both – the traditions that make Oakdale special while exploring ways to help our businesses and residents thrive. My aspiration is to influence decisions in the community that allow the wonderful people here to shop in Oakdale for items for work, school and play.
What challenges are you prepared to face in the coming year as mayor?
We began this year with ‘known challenges’ for local businesses due to COVID-19 restrictions. I’m prepared and committed to helping our city, local businesses, and our citizens who are dealing with a myriad of challenges themselves. I believe that collaboration among these groups will help us together, create solutions that fit our city.
What community events are you looking forward to (assuming the lockdown ends) this year?
Assuming the lockdown is lifted, we have many events to look forward to in Oakdale. With date adjustments for January and February events, I’m anxious to see our ‘event calendar’ look more like Oakdale again, especially the second week in April when Oakdale Rodeo should take place. Additionally, the Oakdale Enrichment Society (OES) is planning an event to honor the 150th birthday of Oakdale. As state restrictions are lifted, we look forward to adding more events to the schedule.
What are the projects you feel most passionate about?
Increased housing, with an emphasis on our growing senior population is very important. I look forward to the Third Avenue Project to enhance our downtown and about the future of my hometown and will do everything possible to ensure its health, wealth and safety for all.
In your opinion, what makes Oakdale a special place to live and call home?
Oakdale has been my lifelong home. My family has been here for generations. Our community is special in the way we all come together at the first call to help. Truly a neighbor-helping-neighbor type of town to live in. It’s special to go to a grocery store where you’re certain to see a friend, be able to buy your vehicle, your furniture, household goods, healthcare and so much more in a business where you know the family. Our town is proud, yet humble. Our town is strong, yet kind. I can’t imagine living anywhere else!
In what areas do you feel the city needs to improve and how do you hope to go about making positive change?
I believe our city has done well in providing assistance to residents and I look forward to enhancing these services.
One of my first priorities will be COMMUNICATION. For example, every City Council meeting date, agenda and meeting access information will be posted on various sites to keep residents informed of City business and their opportunity for input. I look forward to collaboration within the Chamber, Tourism Board and local businesses to develop and execute a program that will increase ‘per visitor spending.’ I will look to the community to share with me their concerns, solutions and ideas.
How will you achieve work/life balance as the mayor?
I’m naturally an energetic person! I love being on the go. Fortunately, my job as an Insurance Agent with Basi Insurance Services affords me a flexible schedule and I have the full support of my bosses, Randy and Karen Basi. As a co-parent with my wife, we have always worked with my busy schedule which has worked well for our blended family. In addition, I have amazing extended family support who are always willing to jump in and lend a hand. I expect to be busier than ever and I sincerely look forward to the task at hand.
What is your utmost priority as Oakdale’s Mayor?
Collaborate with local and county leaders to build a robust city plan that will provide additional short and long-term revenue for our great community, just as our previous Mayor has done.
Would you consider running for mayor in the next election?
When I joined city leadership, it was apparent to me that my lifelong dream was to be mayor of our great city. Having just two years remaining in this esteemed role will not be enough time for me to see things through that I want to accomplish for the city.
Ending on a light-hearted note, did you make a New Year’s resolution? And, if so, please share!!
My New Year’s Resolution is to go to the Azores with my dad!