Monday, December 20, 2010

Town Council Meeting- December 20th 2010

I went to the second Council meeting with our new Mayor and Council.

Well, I guess I'll start with the bad news: there is a POSSIBILITY that our water bills are going to be increased by 33% next year. The actual figures will not be known until March, so the final decision will not be made until that time. Mayor Morley has instructed the Office Staff to send out a notice of the Possible increase.

Our Fire Chief Dennis Mackie was in attendance to give a department head report. Our department is in need of Firefighters. Spread the Word! FYI, you have to be 18 years old to join, but they do have a youth program for anyone who is under 18 and is interested in joining the department.

We have 4 new members on the Library Board: Dan Boggess, Cheryl Dane, Heidi Quinn, and Nel Dalcin. Morley is the Township representative on the Board.

Paul has suggested that Council use the Jackfish Journal to keep the Citizens of Hornepayne updated on the Township happenings. Paul get's my big "A+" this meeting! Sue quickly came up with a name for the article "Councilor's Corner", and all agreed with her suggestion. It was also decided that Willy would write the articles.

Willy would like to see each member of Council oversee a department within the Township. In the past they functioned in this system; some years it worked well and other years it did not. The topic of "micromanaging" was discussed, but Willy assured everyone that his intent is not to "micromanage" but to support the department heads.
Sue informed Council of the 5 departments that were used in the past. They were:
  1. Recreation
  2. Administration and Finance
  3. Public Works Department
  4. Health and Safety
  5. Economic Development
Heather was not in attendance at tonight's meeting, and Sue thought the decision should not be made without her input.
If they were to go ahead with this, it can be assumed who will fill each role. Paul would most likely oversee Rec; Morley- Admin and Finance; Willy- PWD; Heather- Health and Safety; Laureen- Economic Development. Seems like a perfect fit to me!

I'm really impressed with our New Mayor and Council. (I'm sure I said this already, but...) Morley seems to be a bold strong leader. He does not strike me as passive or a push over. It's my opinion so far, that he cares for Hornepayne and he's going to do his best to take care of us. In a time when it might feel like we've been taken advantage of in the past, Morley's strengths bring some comfort.

Nobody would argue that Paul is one of the kindest men around, and his heart is an asset to our community. (I could go on and on and on about Paul! ☺)

I've always had good things to say about Laureen. I think she is a good councilor because she is down to earth. She looks at a situation practically and is able to come up with practical solutions. She's not governed by her emotions and she's always looking for the facts. I also consider her to be a creative woman. She constantly keeps her center fresh and new, and I hope we see that pour into our Town.

I like Willy's overall attitude. I think he not only expects a job well done by the employees, but he wants to help them achieve that goal. I would have liked him around when I was employed by the Township.

The next meeting of Council is Monday January 10th, and it will be held down stairs in the Township Office.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

FIRST MEETING - December 6 2010

Our new leaders officially sat in their seats last night, and held their first council meeting.

Morley seems to be a natural leader. He kept the meeting flowing and clear. He added some humor. I don't think he will be tolerant of any B.S. and I pity the one who plans on trying!

He has already taken steps to move us forward. They passed a resolution to start acquiring information about the nuclear thing. DON'T FREAK OUT! They don't know if it's a good idea for Hornepayne or not, they're just moving forward to learn about it so they can form an opinion. They're not dragging Hornepayne into anything, but they're going to provide us with all the education they receive. We're all going to learn together, and we'll all have a chance to express our opinions. As it stands right now, Morley and Willy think it could be good, and Paul and Laureen have their reservations. Heather didn't let on to which way she was leaning.

The council meetings have been moved from Wednesdays to Mondays, and I think it's to accommodate Willy's work schedule. He was unable to commit to our local committees for the same reason. His mechanical experience gives him an understanding of the Public Works Department, and he started asking questions about their operations. He asked many questions through out the whole meeting; I don't think he's in the B.S. business either. ☺

Paul was appointed to form the new recreation committee. He will sit on it as the Town representative. This is an exciting thing for recreation IMO, but I'm sure most will agree!

Laureen got the ball rolling for our future plan. She has asked for a meeting to be scheduled in March that will be devoted to future vision and goal setting. She gets a big "A+" from me!

The meeting was over 3 hours long.They had much to go through and they were learning the process as they went.

Well, we're off!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Are we going left or right?

In a perfect world everyone is on board with the Leader's vision. Everyone get's behind it and doesn't question where the Leader is going. Everyone is satisfied and encouraged with the direction. But, we don't live in a perfect world.

You can't go in two directions at the same time, and it's inevitable that someone is going to desire to go on "the path not taken". In the past, Hornepayne had to decide if they were going to abandon the hunting/fishing tourist path and walk on a new path towards the nuclear industry. It has been presented recently that we can have both, but really who is going to be drawn to the nuclear town for Hunting and Fishing?

It seemed to me at the Candidates night last month that there was much support (from the town's people) for the nuclear idea. I don't know enough about this to be for or against it. What will Hornepayne gain by going in this direction, in comparison to what will we loose by abandoning the path we are currently on?

I can't see our Fishing Outfitters excited about the nuclear idea. This is the sad part of changing directions. These people believed in the past vision and got behind it. They put their money and talents behind it and built upon it. They've invested in it, and now could loose much. There is much to consider when changing directions. Are we going to gain more than we loose?

Jody and I went to the business financing meeting that was held at the Legion this past week. How can anyone start a business at this time? There are some obvious "holes" in our town, (like a hotel), but all the needs will not be known until the vision for our future is established. What are we building towards? What are we building on? I need to know these things.

Not everyone is going to like change, and not everyone is going to like staying the same. Hopefully our leaders can be strong in their vision and remain so during transition and in the face of opposition, because it will come.

In a perfect world change is easy, but we're definitely not in a perfect world!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Responsibilities and Expectations.

What should we expect from our leaders? What are their responsibilities? Can we expect them to do more than what they are responsible for?

Town Council could be a full time job, but without the full time pay. All our members, with the exception of Morley, have a full time job. They also have families, hobbies, etc. In short, they have a life besides Town Business. I understand they are each paid three hundred bucks a month, but can we call that a salary? Should we expect more than what they are paid for? Our leaders are practically volunteers; we have to be careful not to expect more from them than we do from other volunteers.

I realized the different attitudes towards the leaders while I was campaigning. Some view them as superior to the rest; which is probably why there is so much disappointment when they mess up. And others are at the other end of the spectrum: they think the elected leaders owe them something; perhaps they see it as the price for their vote. These people seem to have this attitude that the elected leaders are their personal servants, and they make life hell for the leader that does not do things their way. Leaders have to do what they think is best for the whole, not for the one! What they think may not be what you think, and what is best for the whole might not be what is best for the one. To think of the whole community and not just a small group is definitely one of their responsibilities.

Unrealistic expectations will cause disappointment within the community. And on the other hand they must be accountable for fulfilling the responsibilities of the position. We need to make ourselves aware of what their responsibilities are, and what they are not. We need to keep them accountable to what their position is, but we can't expect them to do it all. Their job is the leadership job; all the other jobs belong to the rest of us.

If you see slack, determine if it`s really their responsibility or not. If it`s not, then maybe it`s your responsibility! Remember, it`s going to take all of us to rebuild this town, and yes that includes YOU.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A New Beginning for Hornepayne

Congratulations to Willy, Heather, Paul, Laureen, and our new Mayor, Morley! I look forward to your future contributions to our Town.

I'd like to thank all of you who voted for me, your support means the world. To think, in the beginning I was fearful nobody would believe in me! Hornepayne, you're the best!

To all my fellow "runners", you are still leaders in this community! We stepped forward fueled with passion for this Town. We fell asleep many nights thinking of the ways we could contribute and make improvements; really, what's changed? We're still here and we still love Hornepayne. We still have those great ideas; we can still contribute. We may not have won a seat in the Council Chambers, but we are still needed in the building process. Our leaders can not re-build Hornepayne on their own. Don't give up on your dreams for our future; why not put your ideas forward for consideration?

To the Future Mayor and Council: if you come to a time in the next 4 years where you need some leaders, remember all those who ran along side of you in the race. I don't think you'll find any who are more courageous!

Well Hornepayne, Cheers! Here's to a new Beginning for all of us. ☺

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Good Leader Needs to have Balls

Nooooo! I don't mean all good leaders are men! What I mean is: a good leader needs to have Courage. ☺

I think everyone is familiar with the Egypt story. The Jews were slaves and God sent Moses in to free His People and lead them out of captivity. Moses fought hard for the People and eventually won. The first thing they did was sing a song of celebration. But, it wasn't long before they encountered the burden of their victory. Things had to be done differently than they were in the past; they grumbled and desired to go back to what they were familiar with.

It's easy to go back to what we know because we already know what to expect, and we already know how to do "it". Moving forward into something new is not so secure; we don't know what the future holds and we don't know if we will be able to cope with the new ways of doing things. In the above story, Moses kept the people moving forward even when they were scared. He kept them encouraged by trying to keep them focused on where they were going. Even though they believed going back was the easier option, Moses knew it was not a healthy option for them. Imagine if Moses would have agreed with them? Imagine if he was unable to keep his own focus on the goal ahead? A Good leader needs to be able to keep her (or his ☺) eye on the prize, even when everyone else can't.

It seems Hornepayne has gone backwards instead of forwards. We have been lead back to what was known, instead of moving into something new. How many of you feel like singing a song of celebration? This is something we need to change.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: we need vision. We also need leaders who will lead our Community into achieving that vision. Change is not easy; tough seasons are to be expected. We need leaders who can encourage themselves and keep the Community encouraged when we encounter the rough spots.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
-- Ambrose Redmoon

I would appreciate your consideration at the polls on October 25th. I'd love the chance to lead you into a song of Celebration.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What Now?

One of my desires is to see Hornepayne's economy improve; one of the simplest ways to do that is to draw visitors to our town.
We have many organizations who depend on fund-raising for financial support. Why not brainstorm and come up with events that will draw out-of-town visitors to partake in your event? Their presence will not only support the organization, but also the businesses in town.
We can host all kinds of events; with the exception of facility improvements, we're only limited by our creativity.

Here are things I think need to be fixed immediately:
*We need a place for our visitors to stay. We need a motel.
*The Arena and the Legion are really the only facilities we have left. Because the Arena is owned by the Township, I will focus on it in this article.
Many events could be held at the arena, but the facility is not equipped to host big events. There is not a place for our guests to eat, drink, get warm, or gather. I think the Township needs to find money to fix the upper room, or/and add on to the building.
The canteen is not equipped to feed large crowds, so improvements are needed there also. I would like to see our canteen occupied by a business person. If we held regular events, a business could be sustained by serving food alone; leaving the vending machines available for Minor Hockey's fund-raising needs.
Curling could draw many visitors, but they need their club room back. We need to find or build a permanent home for our Weight Room.

Two things have to happen in this next bit of time:
1. We need to audit our Town's businesses and services and position everything so that it can all function together. The dust (so to speak), has not yet settled from the closure of the mall, and so we need to make sure everything falls into the perfect place.
2. We need to come up with goals for the future; things to work towards.

Your New leaders will be the ones to get the ball rolling. If I'm voted in, my first step would be meet with the businesses and organizations to see what they personally need to help improve their service to Hornepayne. I would also like to hear any ideas they have for the future. I would also create an easy way for the rest of the Town's people to communicate their ideas. Once all the info was collected, then the Town Leaders could assess their resources and support the needs. The information would also enable them to come up with a vision, and a plan to lead the Town into it's future.

I'm excited to start moving forward!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hallmark Center 1980 - 2010

September 30th, 2010.

It seems today's date has been highlighted on our calendars for such a long time. We had hoped today would have played out differently than it is.

Our Town Center has officially closed it's doors. :`(

I have hope for our future, but I'm definitely taking today to grieve our loss. An era has come to an end.

Hang in there Hornepayne. ♥♥♥

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Remembering and Moving Forward.....

This week has been sad and exciting at the same time. I went to collect my mail before going for my last swim, and I found all the mail boxes empty. Of course I knew this was happening, but it all became real on Friday.
Our "last swim" turned out to be a perfect night. We celebrated as we remembered all the good times. Then, we said "good bye".
Last night we went to the Quiet Bar for the last Saturday at Craig's. Again, celebration in remembering.
I had my first job in that restaurant; it was called the Green Apple then. Spent my pre-teen years in there drinking pop and forming the friendships that I still treasure today. Jody and I went on our first date in the Dinning Room. Years and Years of Fritters! And over a decade of daily coffee break visits with the staff. Fun times right up until the end.
Change is hard, but it's also exciting! We will hold our memories together and we can remember them with joy. The building is going and making memories in that place is coming to an end, but we're still going to make history in Hornepayne! There are memories yet to be made. Good things are coming, they're not ending.
We're going to grieve and celebrate together; we're going to remember together; and we're going to move into our future together. ♥

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Talk is NOT Cheap. Post #8

Have you ever noticed how a wife can make or break her husband with her words? Or how a husband can lift up his wife or tear her down simply by what he says? Have you ever noticed how the friends around them will eventually believe what is being said? If a spouse speaks with honor, then their partner is honored.

Over the past few years, a group of us have met with other groups of people in several different towns. I need to tell you that the people around us honor Hornepayne! Our neighbors honor us!! Not only are we being spoken about positivly, but we have experienced Hornepayne being highlighted. At first I was amazed because I have mostly heard Hornepayne spoken about in the negative sense. The sad fact is that Hornepayne-ers speak this way more than anyone else.

Hornepayne is valued by our neighbors, and it's time we value ourselves! It's time we believe in ourselves and rise up with pride. It's time to speak to our kids about the joys of living here. What we lack in services, we make up for with community spirit. We may not have a shopping mall, but if you need something you can probably find someone who will lend you theirs. We may not have side walks, but we can stop our cars in the middle of the street to chat. We don't have traffic lights, and we don't get suck in traffic! Our Small Town does not have everything the city has; and that's exactly why we live here.

If I could only accomplish one thing, it would be to change how Hornepayne-ers view Hornepayne. Our town is Gem. The people here are a treasure. Hornepayne is not a clone of any other town, and we don't want to be either. We are not only capable, but we are equipped to truly be, Hornepayne.

C'mon, take another look! What do you see? ☺

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our Youth, our Treasure.

I've always been passionate about the Youth in Hornepayne. I lead Youth Group for 7 years. I don't believe they are the leaders of tomorrow, but they are an important part of our society, today! They need somebody who will believe in them, help them, teach them, and raise them to be who they were created to be.

Mistakes are a great teaching tool. We can either learn from our own mistakes or we can learn from the mistakes that others make. It's very important for the older generation to teach the younger one. If the seasoned leaders never teach the newer ones what they've learned along the way, then the new generation is left to make every mistake on their own. The mistakes we make must be passed along, they might be worth more than Gold!

If we want to see growth in Hornepayne we're gonna have to invest in our Youth. If you know business, then you need to pass along what you know to those who want to be in business. If you know hospitality, then you need to pass along your wisdom. If you know about health, then you need to share what you've learned to help others live a healthy lifestyle. If you know how to paint, paint with others. And for us leaders, we need to raise up the leaders. There should never be a Municipal election where a Young leader is not equipped to run in it.

I would like to see our Municipal leaders taking personal interest in our School Councils. A lunch date at least 4 times a year would be a great start. Through that avenue, relationships can be built, encouragement can be given, and our Town Leaders will be connected to what is going on in the social lives of our underage citizens.

In the past, I taught a structured weekly study on leadership. This is a good format, but not practical for all areas of life. I'm not suggesting to start professional teaching times to train and equip, I'm just saying to treasure what you've learned and be willing to pass it along to anyone you are in relationship with. Sometimes a young person will want to spend time with you just so they can know your "specialty".

I also want to point out something that was pointed out to me. Our Youth leave our town to receive the training they need, (College or University), but most of them don't return here. There are many reasons, but I want to highlight one: there's usually not a position here for them to use their skills. Other communities are receiving the talents and skills of our Youth. If we want them to return, then we need to make room for them. I believe this is something that needs to be looked at more closely. Internship programs could greatly asset our community.

For now, let's invest our time in the Youth, and watch Hornepayne flourish!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Team Player; my first campaign promise.

I took a relationships course last year, and learned so much through it.

Here's a quote that I've pondered quite a bit, "Working with others is a slower process than working alone."

There is a lot that needs to be done in our Town, but I'm not running for Council with the intention of becoming some super hero. (Super heroes work alone to save the day). My main concern is creating an environment where all of Hornepayne can (if they so desire), contribute. We are entering into a rebuilding season, and well, it's a process that nobody can do alone. We need each other and we need to be able to work together.

I have been involved in many things over the years; Minor Hockey, Friends of the Library, KidSport, the Youth Center Board, and the truth is, working with others is not always easy! Many who are reading this know it's true, LOL. Good leadership is essential to smooth interaction.

There are two main Political relationships that the voter has to consider when choosing a Mayor and Council. The Council themselves have to work together, and together, they have to work with the public. Together we are a Team, and each of us need to be a Team Player. I don't know how the current Council works together, but it's my opinion that they don't work well with the public. This relationship should never be overlooked, especially at this time.

Anyone who is running for Council should not be going into it with their own agendas. Good ideas, yes! Once voted in, you are part of a team and you have to be ready to work as a team; with each other and with the public who just voted for you.

Here are my initial campaign promises ☺:
1. I promise to bring my ideas to the table, take criticism, allow others to contribute, and help grow them.
2. I promise to not only work hard on all the causes that I'm passionate about, but also for the causes that my team members are passionate about. (Remember team members are the other members of Council AND the Public.)
3. I promise to not only listen, but to also consider what others are saying. (That should be a no brain er right?)
4. I promise to not judge another team Player from the outside, or play favorites. (Another no brain-er! ☺) Not everyone's qualities, talents, or strengths are on display. Everyone has something to contribute to Hornepayne, and that's the treasure our leaders need to seek out.
5. I promise to communicate with the Public and to remain in communication throughout the full term.

Don't underestimate the need for this skill. Not everyone can work with others and if your leaders fail in this category, Hornepayne will suffer from disorder, (see my post on order.)

I look forward to working with you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's time to rebuild!

There are so many variables right now. The mall is closing and all businesses and services within the building do not yet know where they are going to be relocated. The CoGen plant is still on hold, and it's future will greatly effect Haavaldsrud's. Our future Mayor and Council will definitely be leading our Town into a season of rebuilding.

30 years ago we had more than we do right now! It's time to build up!

I heard it said this week, "You have to be smart to sit in (council)". To which I responded, "You have to be able to lead a community." I believe we have many "smart" people who live here; I'll be voting for a person who can recognize them, encourage them, position them, and work with them. It will take many kinds of people to rebuild this Town; our new council has to be able to recognize, trust, and organize these talents to accomplish what needs to be done.

Hornepayne is filled with talents, ideas, and energy! Everything we need to rebuild Hornepayne already exits in the hearts of it's people. The first time I met Paul Stewart he told me of his idea to build windmills and sell energy. I don't know if this is a feasible project or not, but I like the way he thinks. Paul thinks BIG! Big thinkers think beyond what has already been done. I hope Paul runs for Council, but even if he doesn't he's still an asset and can contribute to Hornepayne.

Cindy Craig, is an encourager. We saw her encourage people these last few months when things looked bleak. Armand LeFort persevered when the Facebook crowd gave up. I remember seeing Zach Armstrong fearlessly leading his High school way back when. Never did I hear him say "we can't...." My involvement with Minor Hockey highlighted many, many, hard workers. I hate hearing "we have no volunteers", because everyone has something to contribute it just takes the right leader to see it and position them in a place when they can use it. This is what I'll be looking for at the polls.

We're going to need new ideas. We're going to need workers. We're going to need encouragers. We're going to need short and long term vision, and the steps to accomplish these things. We're going to need leaders who know their community and know how to work WITH it. It's going to take each and every Hornepayne-er to contribute who they are and what they have inside them, to build Hornepayne.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Order- Post #4

God has so much to say about Governments; mostly everything I know about leadership I have learned from the Word.

Governmental authority is established to keep order. "Order" is like the grease that keeps everything moving smoothly. It's when things are "out of order" that problems begin. Disorder usually results in confusion. When you see confusion, it's usually because something is "out of order".

Policies and procedures are created to try and keep order. Imagine being at a meeting where everyone is screaming at each other. This scene could be deemed as "out of order", because the communication system would be unproductive. Anything that is unproductive is Out of Order!

I worked the federal election last year. This was the first year they required everyone to produce identification. My parents were in my pole, but they forgot their identification; they were not permitted to vote. So in this case, the policy that was set to achieve order actually produced disorder.

Order does not start with a list of rules, it starts with vision. Once we know where we want to go, then we can form a system that will help everyone get there.

Is Hornepayne in order? Are we achieving our goals? What are our goal as a community? What is our position in the North? When we pool our individual strengths we can see the big picture of exactly who Hornepayne is. I think we need to see this "picture"; this is the beginning of coming into order. Once we know who we are, we can better know where we are going. We can have community goals, and we can claim our position within the North. We can confidently say "this is who we are, and this is how we can contribute to the North." I'll just bet each community has a different strength, and only Hornepayne can fill Hornepayne's position. There is just nobody else like us. We are Hornepayne!!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Immature Ideas- Post #3

I call these "Immature ideas" because at this point there has been no deep research, I'm just brainstorming...

1. Communication. Everything that can be made public should be easily accessible to the Public. The minutes used to be posted in the newspaper, this was a good start. Forums and blogs are great ways to communicate these days! Everyone is on the computer and the fears of communicating seem to disappear when using this format.

I would like to see a list of all the projects that council is currently working on. I would also like to see, perhaps in chart form, the progress and where the project sits. Again, this could all be online, but it would also be nice to have an actual public display. Perhaps a newsletter that could be given out to all the coffee/beer drinking hangouts. This will fuel the conversation at those tables and inspire people to get involved.

Of course, if we had a council who was living among us, there would be the regular relationship interaction. Friends communicating with Friends in the hockey change-room, at the bar afterward s, in the arena bleachers, at church, during community functions, where ever! Being involved with People is key.

2. Vision. We have to start on the "20 year plan"! So in 20 years from now Hornepayne will be _____. There are things that just take time; there are things that you can't do all in one year. Imagine if they had a 20 year plan to beautify Cedar Point? That place could be rockin' by now!

Vision can't come from just on person, this would take a team. I would like to see Hornepayne on the Tourist route. People who travel highways 11 and 17 would drive in just to experience what Hornepayne had to offer. I would like to see this town marketed as an old railway town. We have the roundhouse and the old station, a great start! But the true asset is that Hornepayne's People are railroaders! Nobody would have to play a part, because it's who we are. If not an actual CN employee, we are their wives, kids, neighbors,... We know the life of a railroader, we know the history, we know the stories, ....

I would also like to see the "20 year plan" to beautify Hornepayne. I spent a lot of time in the Buttercup trails this year, much could be done so many more could enjoy them. The River is another asset. Cedar Point, our community parks, side walks!

3. The Arts. Art in the Park and The annual Music Fest are FANTASTIC! I would like to see a regular outlet for the artists in our community. An outdoor stage in the middle of a grassy field would be perfect for the summer months. An Artist's cafe would be a great hangout.
The arts are important because this is one of the major ways the Gen X and under, express themselves. The lack in this area is one of the reasons I have considered moving to a bigger center.

4. Immediate Economic stimulation. The new council may come in right after the closing of the mall. If this happens, we are going to be without a lot of services, and the "20 year plan" is not going to bring much comfort. It's hard to come up with a solution at this point when we don't know what we are going to have to work with. A motel is a major factor. If we can't host people for the night, how can we plan events that would draw people here? I think re-building a motel should be of first priority, if the center closes.

5. The Arena. The arena is in need of a few things. Repairs to the upper floor, more change rooms, and office space. Business is booming, so to speak, and with a few changes we could capitalize on that. It's definitly an asset as a time like this.

There are many other needs I'm aware of, but I don't know enough about them at this point to come up with ideal solutions. So I'm going to stop here for today. ☺

Friday, June 11, 2010

Just have to be, ME! ...Post #2

I have been pondering how ridiculous my insecurities are! I believe in my ideas and in the vision I have for Hornepayne. I'm sold out to what I think the Municipal government's roll is. I know what I want and what I expect. If I were to run for Council, all I would have to do it run those things by the People of Hornepayne. If they agreed with me, then they would vote for me. If their vision for Hornepayne was not the same as mine then they wouldn't vote for me, and rightly so! If my heart does not line up with the Heart of Hornepayne, then I should not be in leadership of it. But if it does.....☺

Another thing is, I so believe in my ideas that I don't think I would have to resort to the usual political tactics. I wouldn't have to rip my opponents apart to elevate myself. We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses; I will not capitalize on my opponent's weakness to highlight my strength. I think my generation is just sick of all that political BS.

The beginning...

I went to the HEDC annual meeting a few nights ago. I wasn't shocked to find out that I have been wired for this kind of stuff. We are each created differently, and I was definitely created to lead and to be creative. I went there pondering the thought of joining the board, but during it, I couldn't help but desire a place where I could contribute to bigger changes. I didn't feel the HEDC board was right for me...well, for now.

I know I'm a leader, I do not struggle with that. I do struggle with the fact that others have a hard time seeing my potential. I feel like I'm always trying to convince people to give me a chance. This is a major hurdle as I consider running for Town Council. For 11 years I worked for the Town, and they made feel like I wasn't good enough to scrub their toilets! Who is going to believe I can lead the town? Will people listen to my ideas?

Working for the Town for all those years does give me some advantages. I was able to see first hand the problems that exist on the inside. A major problem, I believe, is that Council does not make any effort to form relationships. How can they know what the people want and need when they don't spend time with people? They never used the pool or even came by, yet they are in the position to govern it! You simply can't know about something unless you are truly involved with it. They heard about the pool and about the staff, but did not know us! I think, if they did not take the time to know their own staff, then they definitely did not take the time to know their community.

I would like to see a Town Council that is one of us, as opposed to, set apart from us. People who care about the people, know the people, and are regularly involved with the people. I should not have to attend a council meeting to know what council is doing, because they should be involved with me, and we should be working together. We should all be about the same business, Hornepayne Business! If the majority of Hornepayne does not give a rat's ass about most of Council's business, then you have to wonder what and who their business is about.

A community is made up of all different kinds of people. Some volunteer and some don't. Some are involved and some are not. But every single person who lives here has a passion for something, and if you put all those passions together we see the true heart of Hornepayne. I think those whom are not involved probably can't see where they fit. Perhaps their passion was not valued at some point, and they were told "NO!", or maybe they just can't see how and where they can contribute. Imagine if we had a council that made a place for each person to manifest their passion into the community?

A leader is not above anyone, they just fill the leadership roll. A volunteer is not more valued than one who does not volunteer, because they were wired to contribute in this way; if they were not involved they would feel a loss. We have big idea people and small idea people, both are needed. We have creative artists who express the deep things of humanity, and we have business buffs who create and grow businesses. Town leaders do not have to be experts in any field except leadership. They have to know how to recognize passion in a person and find a way to connect them to the rest of the town. They have to be encouraging and believe in the Town's people. They have to see the value in everyone, not just in some. They have to serve the people by recognizing and fulfilling the needs in the community.

I really hope Hornepayne is ready for change. I hope when the people go to the polls they are thinking outside of the normal "Mayor and council" stereo-type. I hope they ponder what their needs are and they vote for the person(s) who will lead in that direction. Some things can be learned, like the legalities of the job. But nobody is going to automatically turn into a good caring person once they are elected; we have to figure out who is good before hand, and vote them in.