Building excitement for 2021

As I prepare for the State of the City presentation Feb. 22, it is a great chance to reflect on 2020 and all of the positives that may have been overlooked because of the pandemic.

Before I share a little teaser with you, I will share some more recent events from the last week or so.

I had the privilege to perform my 30th wedding just a few days ago. They are always different, and it is usually a chance to share some smiles with residents, not only from our community but also from surrounding counties. Congratulations to all of the couples that I have helped say “I do.”

Did you know about the memorial tree program implemented by parks and recreation? In 2020, they committed to replacing every tree that has to be removed due to disease, storms or insects with a mature tree. This commitment, along with the memorial tree program, led to 15 trees being planted in our parks, many of which were in memory of loved ones.

This week, I helped place the memorial plaques for these trees. If you would like to learn more about the program, give parks and recreation a call. Thank you to everyone who supported the program last year and an early thank you for those who help us place new trees in the future.

The first Friday of each month at noon is the test of the warning sirens here in Jackson County. Currently here in Seymour, we have five sirens that are designed to warn anyone who might be outside of upcoming storm threats. Part of our most recent capital improvement bond included additional funding to improve our system.

This week, we had a chance to sit down and work with a designer to improve our coverage of not just Seymour but some of the neighborhoods just outside city limits. I would suspect we will be reading more details about this in the near future via The Tribune after the final quotes come in and Fire Chief Lucas presents to the board of public works and safety.

I started this week’s column talking about the State of the City presentation that I will deliver Feb. 22.

While preparing, I get a chance to dive into the year-end reports from all city departments and even some outside sources. I am always shocked as I read some of the details from the past year. Things like the average daily flow at our waste water plant was 4.706 million gallons per day.

Other little nuggets of knowledge are things like Thursday and Friday are tied for the busiest days of the week for the Seymour Fire Department when it comes to calls. How about the fact that the Department of Public Works used 440 gallons of paint while striping roads and refreshing curbs.

It would be easy to talk about the more than $21 million worth of new residential investments during the year. That number doesn’t count the remodeling dollars and garage additions.

As I sit and try to narrow the choices of things to talk about in order to avoid talking for hours Feb. 22, pieces jump out at me. Seymour Police Department investigators averaged just shy of eight cases per week over the course of 2020.

Now if you have read this far, I appreciate your dedication and commitment. I am sure you also are wondering how some of the items mentioned are the positives that might have been overlooked due to the pandemic.

Well, really, I have to admit I am holding the really good pieces until the State of the City. Think of this column as a teaser hoping to build some excitement for you to see what I have included into my 15-minute presentation (if I can narrow things down enough).

I hope you were able to keep a positive focus during our recent trying times because I believe Jack Canfield was correct when he said, “Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.”

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