Get involved to make things better for future generations


In 2014, I shared a selfish reason why I volunteer and am involved in our community.

Before I share that reason, though, let me share some of my week serving as mayor of the best small town in America.

Toward the end of 2021, I was recognized as the Ivy Tech Distinguished Alumni from the Columbus campus. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards ceremony was held digitally, and I wasn’t able to receive my award until recently.

This past week, I met with Chancellor Steven Combs to share stories from the past and discuss the future as well as pick up my Distinguished Alumni award. Thank you, Ivy Tech, for the honor, and thank you, chancellor, for the visit. I look forward to more conversations in the future.

As federal guidelines have changed on training for commercial driver’s licenses, the city has been evaluating how we will help our newer employees receive their training and ultimately their license. As we move forward, we will move from one trainer to two, and the two will coordinate to create more efficiency over the years to come.

A huge thank you to Doug Gregory from Water Pollution Control for all of his work as the guidelines have changed. It truly does take a team, and you, like many others, are a valued part of team Seymour.

I guess it is time to get back to that selfish reason I mentioned at the start of this week’s column. Eight years ago, I shared the following: “I volunteer and am involved for the most selfish of reasons. I want to build the Seymour my children are willing to live in when they are grown.”

I look back on this quote and realize it isn’t as selfish as I probably thought it was back then. I realize helping our community be the best it can be benefits so many more than just my three daughters.

Over the last several weeks, I sat in on nine interviews with applicants of all ages, some old enough we can see they already chose Seymour as their home and some who still live with their parents.

Of those still at home, I was impressed that two shared during the interview process they definitely wanted to attend college and come back to Seymour. Another wanted to come back but was not as enthusiastic as the others. Finally, the last one saw themselves coming home eventually but wasn’t sure if it was in five or 10 years, but probably someday.

Now throw in a recent meeting with someone from another state who shared they have heard about the positive energy and improvements Seymour has experienced over the last few years and I feel like all of the hard work and dedication so many are putting into our little piece of the world is paying off.

With the results of the 2020 census, we discovered Seymour has grown by a little more than 23% since 2010, and that allows us to see that others are choosing to relocate to the Seymour area. I can’t help but feel pride in helping with so many organizations and projects over the last several decades.

Thank you to the citizens of Seymour for allowing me to lead for the last few years. I love my role and the fact that I get to be involved in so many different areas because of it.

I have said it before and I will say it again today. I hope you have found what you are passionate about and then gone a step farther and found how to get involved in helping it grow. Without you, our community wouldn’t be as amazing as it is and headed in such a positive direction that is getting noticed from states away.

Maya Angelou said, “When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”

Get involved and help make things better for future generations.

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