Get better one small step at a time

How are the city of Seymour and the human body alike?

Before I head down this rabbit hole of a thought, let me share some of my recent week.

Swearing in a new police officer or a new firefighter is always a highlight of my week. These are events that don’t happen every day and often are a once-in-a-lifetime event for those being sworn in. This past week, I had a chance to welcome Seymour’s newest officer and firefighter. Samuel Hughes joined the Seymour Police Department, and Reid Kovener joined the Seymour Fire Department. I wish them both health and safety over their careers.

Speaking of the Seymour Fire Department, the entire department recently participated in a training along with Jackson County Emergency Medical Services. This was a chance for our firefighters to break down those skills and make sure everything was in check.

After arriving at the training facility, they would go through the steps normally taken at a fire scene before entering the building. This included a frantic family member who shared information at a rate of speech that was hard to follow.

Then after searching and locating victims, they would help transport to a staged ambulance so EMS could go to work. There, the firefighters would take on roles and help prepare the injured for transport to the hospital.

While nothing can compare to a real scene, I believe this was a good chance for them to look back afterwards and improve themselves for the next time the tones go off in a station.

This past Veterans Day, I had a chance to speak at the Seymour Middle School Sixth Grade Center ceremony at Gaiser Park. As frequent readers know, I am always on the lookout for a chance to use a good quote at the right time. Our 35th president, John F. Kennedy, once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Our veterans have answered that call to duty. They left home to fight on foreign battlefields, and many made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedoms. To all of the active service members and those who came before them, thank you for your service.

Back to that thought about how the city of Seymour and the human body are alike. When I took office, I was about 35 pounds lighter than I am now. I was active and hit the gym several times a week. Now, a few years later, I am back to being more active, but it is a slow process to get back to where I was before, much the same way a city doesn’t flourish overnight nor does it deteriorate just as quickly.

Homes and neighborhoods are built over many months and years and are clean and crisp when the last house is occupied. As time goes by, the new wears off, and things start to show their age. This is true of everything, including roads and sewers.

Last week, I shared that we have been awarded around $900,000 for road work. We will match this with $900,000 and spend around $1.8 million next spring. This will only improve about 5.25 miles of road or a little less than 5% of the total network.

I also shared that we are already in the planning phases of what comes next and how do we fund it. Don’t worry, we know your road is in need of repair, and we know right where it compares to the other 110 miles of city streets. We will be there as quickly as the funding allows us to advance.

We also know that our network of roads is slowly improving each time we are able to secure another round of matching funds. We will continue to slowly get better one small step at a time.

Regardless, if you are looking at yourself or your community as a whole, I believe this quote from Mark Twain is a good reminder on how to approach both: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks and starting on the first one.”