Bryan Araki – Retired Clovis City Planner

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How long have you lived in Clovis? If you are not a native why did you choose Clovis?

I was born in Fresno and lived there until I was in high school. My parents owned a toy store (Toyland) at Rodeo Plaza Shopping Center in the 70’s and 80’s, and fell in love with Clovis. So they decided to buy a house east of Clovis in 1979. I started working for the City in 1986, so I bought my own house that same year in Clovis and have been a resident ever since.

Clovis is full of events year-round. Which is your favorite and why?

My favorite time of year is April in Clovis. Clovis is full of activities and great weather leading up to the Rodeo. However, my favorite event is “Taking it to the Streets” later in the year. It’s quirky and fun and full of art.

You have a friend visiting Clovis. Where is the one place you have to take them for a favorite meal?

House of JuJu and Blast and Brew. I know it’s two restaurants but to me it’s one location.

What does the Clovis Way of Life mean to you?

I got to hear this mentioned many times at public hearings. It definitely means something different to everyone. Clovis will always be a small town to me, even with a population of 120,000. It’s a place where people smile and say hi. It’s a place where safety is a priority and service is second to none. It’s a place where education is embraced and seniors aren’t ignored. The Clovis Way of Life? Well it isn’t just an 80’s license plate frame anymore.

What makes Clovis unique?

From a Planning aspect, Clovis has a unique approach at designing the community. We look at the City from the eyes of a resident, business owner, and visitor. Dwight Kroll refers to it as “boots on the ground planning”. This means we hit the streets like the rest of the citizens and see how the community utilize the space they are in. It really works and makes for this unique community.

You have a day all to yourself to spend in Clovis. How do you spend your day?

You will find me in my shop welding, sculpting, painting, woodworking, or working on our race cars. Alone time in the shop is my mental therapy.

Anything else you would like to add?

Clovis has been very good to me as an employer and a community. I am honored to be part if this wonderful city.

Watch the video below for an example of one of the many creative projects that Bryan Araki brought to Clovis.