Create endless echoes by speaking kindly of others


By Matt Nicholson

Be kind.

First, some quick updates on my recent week as the mayor of the best small town in America.

Recently, I finished my first year of a two-year course through Ball State University to become a certified public manager.

The last 12 months have given me plenty of chances to learn and grow to better serve our community. From topics like time management to understanding the differences in learning styles, I have improved myself in several different areas.

One assignment even leads me to ask those I work most closely with to answer a few questions about me. I have to admit it is unsettling to put yourself out there, and oftentimes, the feedback you receive can sting a little, but I appreciate the responses I got back and feel it has raised the bar on being open with one another and can lead to quicker responses to issues when they come up.

Those three questions if you want to know are as follows: 1) What should I start doing that I’m not currently doing? 2) What should I stop doing? 3) What should I continue to do?

If you feel you have something I need to see from these questions, email your answers to [email protected].

At the last city council meeting, members had a chance to cast a final vote on an update to the salary ordinance to correct a few lines that were written into the budget but didn’t get updated in the salary ordinance. The correction has been made, and I apologize to the council for having to do an update.

The other item under new business was the reestablishment of the cumulative capital fund rate. This is something we have to do every decade or so, as the way Indiana Code is written, the rate drops every few years. Currently, the rate is at 0.0444. The reestablished rate is 0.05. This comes up to around $11 a year on a $200,000 property. The cumulative capital funds are for capital items related to fire and police with parks and recreation and the department of public works both getting a small portion, as well.

“Freezin’ for a Reason” is the tagline of the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. I had a chance to join the Seymour Tsunamis team to raise funds for our area athletes to participate in events during 2022. This year, we had 15 members on the team who made their way into the cool waters of Deam Lake in Borden.

One of the first-time members this year was my daughter, Sallie, who grabbed the moment by the horns and got that first icy step over with as she headed out to give high fives to the volunteers in the water. I could say the moment took my breath away, but it might have been that same icy water hitting my chest as I laid down to swim out to give high fives as well. Either way, I am proud of our team and am already looking forward to the 2023 event.

Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” I have never been much on judging people, as I have been judged many times myself.

I have recently been in some moments where I sat down with former drug users to listen and learn. This group from our community has firsthand knowledge of recovery and how it is possible right here in Seymour.

Many have taken time to share their stories and try to help me understand from their perspective. I am sure I will have more to share in the future, but for today, I want to leave you with another Mother Teresa quote: “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

If we are to figure out how to make recovery a normal conversation, we must first figure out how to speak kindly to one another so it can create endless echoes.

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

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