Plant today’s trees for the future


“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

It seems this Chinese Proverb crosses my mind at least a few times a week. For myself 20 years ago, I was a few years into having influences in my life that were planting the tree that I would grow into later in life. Thank you for joining me for another read-through of my thoughts and my review of what last week looked like.

This week, I had a chance to sit down with several different leaders from our area at different times. If you are working via the Humane Society, Chamber of Commerce, Schneck Medical Center, Freeman Municipal Airport, recycling and so many more, you all have something to contribute to the future of our community. I enjoy my chances to learn from everyone in their respective areas.

Any of the above could be an entire update by itself, but to keep it brief, I will try to give just a couple of the highlights.

Spay and neuter your pets, especially your cats. Progress continues on the runway 5-23 project. Not sure what to recycle? Remember the simple seven. If you are not sure what that means, please give the podcast from July 20 a listen on the City of Seymour (City Hall) Facebook page.

This week, the State Board of Accounts started Seymour’s audit. This is not anything out of the ordinary, but it is the first one for Clerk-Treasurer Darrin Boas and myself to go through. This does also give us a chance to ask questions about things we see from years past and get clarification on them.

Can you tell me how many bolts hold the oil pan on a city snowplow? After some time with the Department of Public Works, this week I am refreshed on lightning loader procedures and more in tune with the bottom side of one of our snowplows.

I know you are thinking, “Now Matt, why are you working on a snowplow when it is 90 degrees out?” The shop at DPW often goes unnoticed, and they shouldn’t. They keep vehicles from many departments up and running by tending to a wide range of mechanical issues.

To answer the oil pan question, it is 32 on this particular model, and I got a chance to help remove several of them as we took care of a problem that had developed. Thank you to the crew at the shop for allowing me to slow down the process this week.

Back to planting that tree from earlier, I am just as guilty as some about complaining about the tree that didn’t get planted 20 years ago. I have learned, though, that everyone is capable of planting today’s trees for the future. Time and energy spent on helping our community is not wasted.

Often, we won’t see the fruits of our labor until years down the road, but someday, we will see it and be proud of the impact we have made on our community.

Now here is the catch, though. Having a great idea isn’t always enough. After the great idea comes the truly hard part, and that is rolling up your sleeves and getting involved. Who knows your talents better than you do? No one. When you see something that interests you, reach out to the organization or agency involved and say, “Hey, I can help you with these talents.”

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

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