Greatness lies in being able to remake ourselves

I hoped we would never need it, but I wanted to help make sure we had options in case we ever do.

Before I finish this thought, though, how about some of my week as the mayor of the best small town in America?

Recently, I delivered the State of the City for 2022. This is where we look back at the previous year and look ahead to the future.

Toward the end of the presentation, I had a chance to share that we had been awarded a grant to create a recovery coordinator position. While I could talk on this topic for several pages, I will try to keep it brief so I have time to share other happenings from my recent week.

We are working with the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress Bartholomew County and look forward to using their existing knowledge to assist getting Seymour and Jackson County rolling toward a cleaner future. Check out asapbc.org for more information about Bartholomew County programming, check out a recent article in The Tribune or watch the State of the City video on the City of Seymour, Indiana City Hall Facebook page.

At the most recent Jackson County Solid Waste Management District meeting, Seymour Department of Public Works Director Chad Dixon presented a request for a new clam truck. After some discussion, members of the board voted to approve up to half of the truck not to exceed $102,000. Congratulations to Dixon for a successful presentation, and thank you to the Jackson County Solid Waste Management District for its continued support.

Some meetings energize me more than others. One of those I just launched this year was my monthly pastor chat. Each month, I invite our area pastors in to share what is going on in their congregation and a chance for them to share possible solutions if they have had similar problems before. While we have only gathered a few times, I feel energized from the conversations and look forward to future chances to help each other work on our community’s tomorrow.

Several years ago, I started volunteering for READ Jackson County for the Reading Forward program. This would have been when my oldest daughter was in third grade. The program was to help kids prepare for the IREAD test that was being put into place to pass third grade. I didn’t get involved because she needed help but because I wanted to make sure it was available for someone who might need it.

Much the same way many years later, I made a motion as a member of the city council to accept a donation from Hunter Wart for a Safe Haven Baby Box to be placed at Fire Station 3. Again for the same reason that even though I hoped it would never get used but would be available if someone did need it. Not long after it was installed, Baby Mia would be surrendered and later adopted.

Here we are just a few years later, and I recently announced receiving the grant for a recovery coordinator at the State of the City. Again, this is one of those moments where I wish we didn’t need such a position in our community or any community for that matter, but we do have community members who need help.

As I worked on my presentation, I asked some in long-term recovery “What did you get back with recovery?” My dignity, my freedom, trust, a purpose and my family were some of the answers that were shared in response.

Today and in the future, when you hear me speak in an effort to make recovery a normal conversation, I hope you will remember that while I wish we didn’t need to be having these conversations, we do.

Today, I leave you with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi to help us all remember that we do recover: “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.”

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