by Mayor Sean Denison
The last two years have been nothing short of strange. Our lives and our kids’ lives have been turned upside down. Remote learning and working from home have become common. The anxiety and uncertainty have added to the stress we all face on a daily basis. That stress has been revealing itself in many ways. We’ve all seen it in the news lately. Concerned citizens, hollering at elected officials – whether it be a school board or city council. Name calling, violent outbursts and threats towards elected officials have increased exponentially over the last few years. People are fed up. Fed up with ever changing rules about what to do and how to be able to do it when it comes to the pandemic. Fed up with mandates and quarantines. I get it.
But here’s the thing: In order to be able to get the issues we are all facing resolved, we have to act like adults. We must be able to communicate with one another in a way that is respectful and civil. The folks in small communities who hold elected positions, are not doing what they do for fame and fortune. They chose to get involved in an effort to make things better. I would encourage those that think they can make a difference to get involved. Start attending school board meetings and city council meetings. I would encourage them to run for an elected office themselves or volunteer to sit on a board.
I think it’s important to remember that our children are watching us. They see how we interact with one another. We have the responsibility of showing them that it is ok to ask tough questions, it is ok to stand up for one’s convictions and it is honorable to serve one’s community. But we also have the responsibility of showing them that all those things can be done with integrity, character and ethics. If we don’t teach them how to be respectful of others, who will?