Over the past month it's been my pleasure to meet with all department directors at City Hall and their various locations, along with other members of our city staff. Not that it was a secret, but we have some fabulous people running the various areas in our city. These people know their stuff and have a real heart for wanting to do what's right by our residents and council.
With every meeting there was a robust discussion about their departments, along with the goals and ideas I've gained from meeting with our residents. In addition to our main goals of "Good Jobs, Lower Crime and Better Image", we were able to talk about some big ideas, some visionary things that our current council has not had the time to discuss over the past few years.
January 7th is coming fast and I'm looking forward to serving the wonderful people of our city. Some may not know how all of this has worked once an election takes place. Immediately after the election the city put me on the delivery list for both council emails but also weekly packets (the full detailed packet of information each council member receives toward the end of every week). I read them "cover to cover" to make sure I'm up to speed. I think my wife thinks I'm sort of wonk because I enjoy it too much.
On the issues in those packets I'm usually up to speed on them already, having been involved in our city for several years. Many on our council have been very gracious to me, allowing me to share my opinions on some of the items with them. (Not that they all wouldn't be, I just haven't gone to all of them.)
Speaking of a gracious council... I've had the pleasure of either speaking to or meeting with every council member. I've known most of them for a while, save for two. My coffee meeting with one of them was invigorating and encouraging that we'll be able to work together well. We share similar family experiences (similar aged children, etc.) and other things. It was a pleasure to get to know this council member for the first time and look forward to working closely together on a variety of issues facing our city.
As one reflects on life and it's experiences, and the plan God has for our lives, it's interesting to look back from where one is to see how things have happened for a reason. Ten years ago I was a State Representative and then lost re-election. Losing as an incumbent is very hard, both for the candidate and the family. For that reason I said back then I wouldn't likely ever run again but, if I did, it would require permission from my entire family.
Over the past ten years I've stayed involved. Sometimes from afar, sometimes as part of an organization or committee. I fought and led some battles on behalf of residents, I've been a watchdog for our residents on issues and sometimes candidates, and learned a lot of things along the way. Some of those lessons were hard and they shaped me in different ways than I expected.
In the end, 2012 was the right time and my family knew it. As I door knocked I think the people saw that, too. It is an honor and incredible privilege and will use those experiences and lessons to do the right thing for our city and the residents that make us what we are.