Changing a village for a better future

By Matt Nicholson

It takes a village.

Before I venture down that road, though, how about my week as mayor of the best small town in America?

Congratulations to Diane Schepman on her recent retirement from the Freeman Municipal Airport. Diane has worked at the airport for just over 20 years and will be missed in the office. Thank you, Diane, for your service, and I hope you enjoy spending more time with your grandchildren.

Some of my recent meetings have been with business owners and organizations in the area to discuss future planning.

Along with the organizations, myself and some of the staff had the chance to learn about the planning underway with the county’s veteran organizations to host a Memorial Day weekend event. They currently have multiple events going on in many areas of Jackson County.

Go ahead and mark your calendar for May 28th and 29th as I’m sure they’ll have something for everyone. Watch for more details in the future as plans are finalized and we see promotional material to choose from among the many events we can attend.

During a meeting with traders in the region, I had the opportunity to talk about Seymour. I was able to travel back in time and talk about my time as the director of a nonprofit in the area and talk about the agencies I worked closely with at the time. I can’t wait to see what areas they choose to get involved in and how they can help improve our little part of the world.

At the last Mayor’s Youth Council meeting, members had the chance to learn about Recovery First Corp and New Beginnings Recovery Center LLC. Topics and questions varied, but included things like anxiety, volunteering, mental health and recovery. Thank you, New Beginnings, for taking the time on your Wednesday evening to share what you are doing with the next generation. I believe they learned from your presentation.

I guess it’s time to go back to this village. The real quote is “It takes a whole village to raise a child” and is said to come from an African proverb.

In my life I have been blessed with wonderful villagers, both as a child and now as a parent. As with everyone, some members of our village would become closer than others. Those we could trust the most to help educate and protect girls usually ended up becoming vital parts of our lives. They might be family, friends, or neighbors, but they still hold a huge place in my heart, and I know from listening to stories that they hold my daughters’ hearts as well.

How, however, does this translate to the bigger picture of approximately 10,000 properties that make up the town of Seymour? If it takes a village to raise a child, wouldn’t it take a village to sustain a village?

Soon I will be able to introduce some concepts to our community that some will quickly adopt.

Any of these concepts will be a great opportunity to work on how our community looks, how we feel connected with those around us, and how to grow in service to others. Obviously, it won’t be mandatory, but it will be interesting to see how open our great community members are to a new idea.

To wrap up today, I’m going to double down on quotes and hopefully get your wheels spinning. Our 34th President, Dwight Eisenhower, said, “You don’t lead by hitting people over the head. That’s aggression, not leadership.

The second quote for you today is from American radio personality Robin Quivers: “So you start one person at a time. Change a person and you can change a village.

I hope you will choose to help me change our village for a better future.

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

Comments are closed.