Listening to, learning from others remains important


“United we stand, divided we fall.” Variations of this statement date back as far as ancient Greece and as recently as song lyrics by Taylor Swift.

Founding fathers and presidents have used the phrase as well as something similar in three books of the New Testament.

Before I get lost in thought on this topic, though, let me share some of what has happened in the last week from the mayor’s perspective.

Normally by this time of the year, city council meetings are short for a few meetings. This week, however, was different with a second reading on a rezone, an ordinance amending the parking code in Freeman Field getting first hearing and a resolution allowing transit to carry over money from 2020 to 2021 due to an 18-month COVID-19-related awards cycle instead of the normal 12-month cycle.

We then dove into hearing requests by the school system on traffic patterns for drop-off and pickup. After a lengthy discussion, it was sent to committee to bring back a recommendation for the next meeting on what changes need ordinance approval and which ones just need encouragement from the school system.

If you are dropping off or picking up, please listen to the school on proper procedure and help everyone get in and out quicker and more importantly safer this school year.

After our staff meeting this week, I had a chance to sit down with Curt Nichols at WZZB for our monthly breakfast chat. In normal 2020 fashion, we had some hiccups, and if you check out Matt Nicholson Mayor Seymour, Indiana, on Facebook, you can enjoy an extra song and a few laughs at the beginning of the video.

We did get to talk about the previous council meeting and the financial future of Seymour. Spoiler alert: The current downturn will hit city government the hardest in 2022. We also had a chance to briefly discuss the project Seymour Community School Corp. is working on and the many positives we see coming from it, not to forget that it will be completed without raising taxes.

Like many things in our area, it takes the work of many before us to put us in a position to thrive now. Much the same, we work hard now to set up those who will follow us for the continued success of our area.

Speaking of those before us working to set us up to thrive, I hope everyone saw the article about the opening of Burkhart Plaza and have had a chance to visit downtown.

This week, I also got to add to my Larrison’s Diner memories by performing a wedding at the diner. Congratulations to the couple. May your marriage bring you many happy memories for decades to come.

Time to wrap up another update, but before I do, I would like to loop back around to that divided house we face every day.

Division comes in many forms, and the most recent ones that seem to be taking center stage are to mask or not to mask, coin shortage and sending kids back to school. Ladies and gentlemen, we seem to be divided about everything.

Both sides of any topic want to dig in their heels and refuse to hear what the other side is saying. We will get nowhere if we are not willing to stop talking for a second and hear what someone is saying, even when that someone is saying something in opposition to our current beliefs.

Sometimes, we will be right, and sometimes, we will be wrong. Either way, we must try to be better humans and see what we can possibly learn from our peers before this great country of ours is consumed by constant bickering.

Matt Nicholson is the mayor of Seymour. Send comments to [email protected].

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