Staying focused on the vision for Seymour

Last week, I talked about the team that is working to keep Seymour moving forward for the future.

This week during my update, I would like you to think about this quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” As always before I do, I want to share a quick recap of another week as the mayor of the best small town in America.

Several times this week, I had a chance to focus on the future of Seymour, combining what others and myself see for our community. Between meetings related to major road work that we hope to see happen as early as 2027 and economic development meetings that will extend well past that, I have had more than my share of chances to work on shaping my vision of the Seymour of tomorrow.

Can you tell me where Darci’s Drive is? How about Johnson Street? This week while doing a ridealong, I had a chance to observe Field Training Officer Jim Handley work with new hire Officer Christopher Cooper. It was a great chance to see how much work the Seymour Police Department puts into each officer before they are allowed to start patrolling solo.

A brand-new officer who has not been to the academy will have around 1,300 hours of training that include the academy. Even a new hire like Officer Cooper, who comes to us from another department with several years of experience and has already been to the academy, will still receive several hundred hours of training from SPD.

Things I witnessed were interacting with citizens on both sides of the situation, street locations, even something as simple as leading a funeral procession safely is part of our training process. We also had a chance to discuss some of the annual training that each officer must complete. Things like domestic violence and administering a breathalyzer go hand in hand with getting recertified in firearms proficiency each year.

At the most recent board of works meeting, we also had a chance to welcome Seymour’s newest hire, Firefighter Adler Ramsay. We also had a chance to congratulate SPD officers and SFD firemen for recent promotions. Thank you all for your service.

Every so often, I have someone remind me that someone doesn’t like me and is working against my vision for our future. Many times, they are referencing someone that I have placed on a board or commission and sometimes even another elected official.

First, I have to say that it really doesn’t bother me when someone doesn’t like me. I finished high school in the ‘90s and left things like that at the door. What I would prefer to see happen is that they would pick up the phone or stop by for a chat so we can keep lines of communication open.

Future planning is never entered into lightly, and I am more than willing to share why I see something the way I do. I have met a few humans who believe they are always right, but I haven’t met one yet that is. Guess what? I am human and make mistakes, too.

I love it when someone asks questions and explains why they believe something should be different. Sometimes, they are right, and we change the approach. Sometimes, I am right and can help them understand it from a different angle.

What doesn’t help, though, is when someone is silent and we lose that communication. I know someone right now is asking why if I know they are doing this I wouldn’t remove them from whatever position I have placed them in. I believe Mahatma Gandhi is correct: “Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.”

If we want to see Seymour have an amazing future, we need to have honest disagreement. I believe we also need to have honest dialogue and realize that both are a good sign of progress.

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