Help keep the city moving forward


Sometimes, we don’t realize the focus of a week until we sit down to review it.

That is the case for me this week. When I mentioned residential as a piece of what may send us over the tipping point last week, I didn’t realize how much I would talk about it this week. Enjoy another trip through the memory banks of your small town mayor.

At the most recent city council meeting, they voted to pass on first reading Ordinance 22 Council Bill 43, which moves parking fines from $3 to $10. The second reading will be at 7 p.m. Monday. If you have feelings either way, please reach out to your council member or feel free to come speak for or against it Monday.

Recently, I had a chance to listen to Lindsay Boccardo at the Leadership Conference hosted by the Seymour Chamber of Commerce. Lindsay’s message was about generations in the workplace. As she spoke, I could see the proverbial light bulbs come on for people around the room, including myself. No matter if you are a boomer, Gen X, millennial or Gen Z, I hope you take a chance to hear her speak if given the chance. Thank you, Seymour Chamber of Commerce, for the event.

Sprinkle in meetings on road work, future planning, a solid waste board meeting and several community members and you have the quick breakdown of my busy week.

For the last few weeks, I have been trying very hard to delegate to city employees when I can. This is never to get myself out of the work at hand, but simply to allow citizens to talk with those who are directly involved with the situation. By doing this, I cut out several layers of conversations that are required to get me up to full speed before you get an answer. Don’t worry, I often have before and after conversations, but you get your problems solved quicker when you follow the chain of command.

As I sat down to pen this week’s update, I had two quotes come to mind: “What we see depends mainly on what we look for” by John Lubbock and “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” by Mark Twain. Both of these quotes relate to vision.

Every day, what I imagine the future of Seymour looks like changes. Sometimes, it is major changes, and other times, it can be ever so subtle.

One of the major obstacles we face is housing. This week, I sat down with a group to discuss the homeless situation. I talked with many residents of a neighborhood who would prefer not to see housing near them. I talked with an area developer who always refreshes me because his imagination is very much in focus and he is always looking for the positive outcomes of his actions. I also met with a representative of Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch’s office about workforce housing.

What I took away from all of these different meetings is that we do not have a single answer to solve the housing problem. We have many approaches that can all lead to positive improvements. Sometimes, those approaches aren’t exactly what we see in our vision, but we have to look at the full picture and decide what will be the best option besides sitting on our hands. Well, I guess that is unless you are hoping for nothing to ever happen.

Feel free to flash back to June where in this very column I shared the words of a community leader that “a city is either moving forward or it is moving backwards; there is no standing still.” We are in a place to keep moving forward, but if we stand against progress, we may accidentally allow our neighborhood and our community as a whole to move backwards as a byproduct of inaction.

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