“We’re trying to work with a number of Spanish folk to make them more of a part our community,” said city manager Jim Ludban at Monday’s regular meeting.
Lubdan said he and other city officials have met with some of the Hispanic community from Willard to discuss engaging them in the works of the city and community.
“I’m excited. It went real well,” he said. “We’ve started working out a welcome back sort of party to welcome all of the Spanish folks who travel up to Willard to work on the farms for the summer. We want them to feel a big, warm welcome when they come back to the community this year.”
The tentative date for the community get together is June 17 at the soccer field.
“The Spanish folk said they’d like to have a little party and soccer tournament,” he said. “I believe the tentative date is June 17 for a welcome back for the farmers. You don’t have to be Spanish to play in the tournament — it’s a whole community event. There will be vendors, the soccer tournament, a band, food and entertainment.”
Ludban said it’s “a good start” to what needs to happen for the city. “We need them to be involved with the community,” he said. “They should be. They’re a large part of our community.
“The main stream of the community is trying to get them more involved with the community, committee work and the chamber of commerce, hopefully,” Ludban added. “We need more Spanish folk. They make up at least 20 percent, even some estimates up to 25 percent of our community.”
With the hot button issue of immigration and undocumented aliens and recent national policies, Ludban said it’s not something he’s concerned about with his city.
“I am not aware that we have any kind of immigration issue,” he said. “I think that’s a non-issue. I don’t think we have (an undocumented alien) problem in Willard. I don’t think we have to worry about that.”