Second Saturday Spotlight: A Peek Behind The Curtain

Mayor Cindy Silva has launched a program to help residents learn more about the inner workings of Walnut Creek.

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at places like the library, or Lindsay Wildlife Museum, or the Lesher Center for the Arts? You don’t have to wonder any more. You can find out by signing up for the Second Saturday Spotlight program, 11 events on the (surprise) second Saturday of each month of 2013, in which residents get a chance to see a side of Walnut Creek not usually available for public inspection.

The program is the brainchild of Mayor Cindy Silva, who is adopting it as her 2013 outreach initiative. Each year, the mayor chooses a program that is aimed at enhancing the civic body. Last year, Bob Simmons chose a monthly walk in various locations around town.

The Second Saturday Spotlight program is free, but registration is requested to ensure the city has enough tour guides. To sign up, and to learn more about the Second Saturday Spotlight series, visit www.walnut-creek.org/spotlight

Silva agreed to explain her idea in detail to Walnut Creek Patch.

Patch: Can you briefly explain the thinking behind Second Saturday?

Silva: The idea is to give community members an easy way to go behind the scenes and learn more about some of our most interesting city departments and functions as well as some of our great community assets like the Lindsay Wildlife Museum or our historical treasures.

Patch: The first stop is a tour of the library. What do you think people will be interested in "behind the curtain" in that facility?

Silva: A 21st century library is much more than a repository of books. Libraries are community living rooms, where people engage, learn, and connect with their communities and the world. And, today's libraries are about technology -- from the computers available to users to the technology that runs the check-out systems and the book-sorting equipment. It's really quite fascinating. Plus, our downtown library is currently showcasing the national touring exhibit, "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War", and Second Saturday Spotlight guests will get a guided tour of the exhibit (which isn't possible any other time, because the exhibit is designed to be self-directed).

Patch: What other tours do you have in mind this year?

Silva: We have eleven Second Saturdays planned that will include a backstage tour of the Lesher Center, a tour of the Lindsay wildlife hospital, a downtown historical walking tour, a tour of the Police Department, and a visit to our city corporation yard, which is where we deploy the crews and equipment that maintain our streets, parks, and everything in between. The February Spotlight will be a presentation on the State of the City.

Patch: Is there a particular demographic group these tours will appeal to?

Silva: I think Second Saturday Spotlights will appeal to all ages.

Patch: Where did this idea come from?

Silva: The genesis of Second Saturday Spotlight is that community members are consistently saying they would like to learn more about our community. For example, behind-the-scenes tours are a part of our Citizens Institute program each year, and participants always say that the tours of city facilities are very enlightening. Community Service Day volunteers have consistently said they not only like to give back to the community, but they like that Community Service Day gives them a chance to learn about some of our treasured assets like the Lindsay Museum or the Ruth Bancroft Garden. Second Saturday Spotlight is a way we can give more people an easy way on a Saturday morning to discover more about the great assets of Walnut Creek.

Very concerned walnut creek citizen January 08, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Nice to know about the library and the wildlife museum, but what ever happened with you signing the petition on gun control, that you did not sign because you had to go on vacation; just checking
One more time with feeling January 08, 2013 at 06:18 PM
@ "Very concerned walnut creek citizen": I don't recall Silva associated with a "petition on gun control". I *think* the issue is whether the "Mayor of Walnut Creek" would support "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" (MAIG). There's a big difference. "Gun control" is a hot topic, needs lots of discussion, is very politicized and has the potential for inappropriately treading on citizens' 2nd Amendment rights and legal firearms ownership. Being against *illegal guns* is a no-brainer. I do agree we are owed a response. I regret my schedule does not allow me to attend. I have some questions: 1) Contra Costa County Library downtown Walnut Creek branch a) Has the county corrected the "active library card member count" by removing cards not used for 3+ years? b) When will daily attendance numbers be corrected to not count employees & volunteers walking in/out? c) How much is the taxpayer-subsidized cafe making/losing? d) Is the (originally proposed $120,000) $320,000 cafe build-out "found money" budget closed? e) What is the plan for the apology regarding spending money voters twice instructed the city not to spend? 2) Lesher Center a) When will this department/facility be spun off/privatized/divested? b) When will the "visiting actor's house" on Glenhaven be sold? 3) WCPD a) When will staffing levels return to include motorcycle cops, DARE/Character Counts and weekend bar patrols? b) What is the plan for replacing retiring Chief Bryden?
One more time with feeling January 11, 2013 at 07:02 PM
I guess we are forced to use the moderated (censored?) Town Hall, FaceBook, Twitter, Yelp or other media as the third floor sees fit. The irritating part of that is they "like" their own posts (as if we did not know they were voting for themselves) relegating real dialog to be brushed under the proverbial carpet or posted here. Relative to all the $ being funneled to the Contra Costa County Library downtown Walnut Creek branch... it likely would be more appropriate to fund the Main desk in the lobby of City Hall or the Planning/Engineering desk on the 2nd floor to be open Fridays rather than closing them Fridays in favor of continuing to drop money at the County-staffed library...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »