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As we enter the holidays and wind down 2020, I want to acknowledge the hard work that was accomplished during these very trying times and share my appreciation and hope for the New Year.First, I want to convey my sincere gratitude to our residents for following COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, including wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and modifying how they socialize and celebrate. Thousands of people in our City have taken health guidance to heart to protect one another. Our citizens have shown incredible determination, spirit and strength during this time.Additionally, I wish to thank the City of Bremerton’s tremendous workforce – first responders, frontline staff and management personnel. They’ve kept our City running and continued to make progress on City projects that were set in motion in 2018 and 2019 – a challenging task during COVID-19. Our employees have served our citizens with heart, focus and dedication, and I’m proud of what they’ve done this year.I’d also like to recognize the Bremerton City Council. I appreciate their support of COVID-19 assistance and the ongoing initiatives by the City during the pandemic. I thank the Council for supporting the City’s efforts to improve safety, housing and quality of life in our community, which will have lasting impacts on our City.Lastly, the year 2020 has tested and challenged us beyond anything we could have imagined. The winter months may test us further if COVID-19 continues to rapidly spread in our area. While help is on the way with the promise of multiple vaccines - and there is optimism we will finally see an end to the pandemic - they have not been completed rolled out.Until then, I ask everyone to stand firm just a while longer and observe health advice during the holidays and the months ahead. This period will be an important one to control the spread of COVID-19 until vaccines are widely available.The holidays are a special time when we can look forward and embrace peace and hope for the future. I am confident we will emerge from this and we will emerge stronger as a City and a community. Take care and best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday season.