Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sense of Community

No, I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be.
John Cougar Mellencamp

Come now, and let us reason together - Isaiah 1:18

I stood on my soapbox today, wobbling, but I stood.

Situation - I live in a small town. You know, the kind that rolls up the sidewalks at 8:00 p.m. The one where people know or are related to their neighbors. The place where people care, and reach out to help one another. Well, a friend, and a lifelong resident of this community, was laid off from his job at city hall. I know many of the old timers on the city council, and I went to give my opinion, to hopefully make them think, not to hurt or embarrass any of them, but hopefully to bring back what small towns are about - community. I like all of them, and I would have stepped on my soapbox for the ones that I am close to, because that's what community is about.

Well, I shaking-ly got on my soap box, and asked, very nicely, where the sense of community was. In today's economy, how could they, as part of this community, lay someone off without notice? He wasn't just a city employee, but he was, and will remain, an active part of our community. I know I rambled, my voice was shaky, and maybe I was literally jerking from all the shaking, but I stood up for him and each one of them, trying to emphasize that we are a caring community that has to take care of each other. Okay, budget cuts may be needed, and I understand about unions, but I would feel terrible for anyone in our community that was laid off without notice, especially now, in today's economy. Is there something we can do without? Is there another way? If personal, would you like it if the roles were reversed? No, why? Because no matter how much my opinion differs from yours, each one of us is vital to make up this caring community, but we need to stand up and do our part.

I work in government, and I understand about budgets and unions. I also know the waste, and that there is always a way to cut the budget without hurting someone. I see how some make too much money for their job, and some make too little. Budgets are budgets, and, lately, government budgets are being cut. You know budgets have to go down if taxes are going to, as we were promised by the higher ups in our country. (snicker, snicker) But in every budget, there are things that are not necessary. You know it, I know it. I also love the government job I have, and will not do anything to hurt any one's position, whether Democrat of Republican, if I know that they are doing the best they can. So, no, I will not tell you where it's wasted, or who gets paid too much! They are good people, trying to do a good job for the people with the resources they have.

Okay, if the position needed to go part time because of the decreasing need, we still need to care about the people, because it's the people that make up the community. Each person, individually, makes up the whole community. Ask yourself how, if it was you, or a family member, or friend, what would have been the best (maybe not ideal) way to handle this budget cut? You might be mad that their position was cut, but wouldn't it have been better, as far as showing we really care, to do anything to help someone, even if the result had to be the same? At least, give him a notice so he has a chance to find other work.

I do not know the city budget, and, due to the show of need to cut the budget, I am going to look and study it. Who knows? Maybe I can come up with ways to cut the budget that they haven't thought about. Or maybe we could have more fund raisers to help the city meet its budget.

As for our city council, I have nothing against any of you. In fact, I really like the ones I know, and I'm related to one of them. I do think that they are trying to do a good job, and maybe, this was not thought through completely or was done in haste. I know that they all care about their community. I just wanted to help them remember what a small town is about - people caring for each other. That's why we each have decided to live in a small town, and not a big city. Okay, everyone knows what everyone is doing, but if you need a helping hand, if someone is in crisis, everyone reaches out and helps. You do deserve a firm pat on the back, but just sometimes, you may need to be reminded of where you come from and why you are here.

If you are a member of the city council reading this, please know that, if I know you, I like you. If I don't, I just haven't been introduced to you yet. I know that you are doing the best job you can, but sometimes it helps if a friend points out something to you, so you can improve. That is all I wanted to do.

Okay, happily, I am stepping off my soap box, and hoping that the shakes stop. But, after more research, I may need to get on that soap box again, because I do believe that the position is essential to our community, and it needs to be held by a qualified individual, whether full time or part time. I'm not saying that the volunteer isn't qualified, because I don't know his qualifications. I'm just saying we need that position held by a qualified person. On to my research...

Aunt Janet's Famous Sayings

As my nieces and nephew will tell you, this is probably one of my most said quotes. "There's a nice way to say everything, and a way to say everything nice." We can also replace say with do. "There's a nice way to do everything, and a way to do everything nice." Think of how you would want to be treated, and do the same for others. (I think I'm sort of quoting a very important Guy.) We do make mistakes, we are human. It's okay to say I'm sorry, or I didn't mean to hurt you, and find a way to make it better. Just do it!


Famous Unk's Chicken Recipe

A Fryer

And you thought I was going to give it away. hehe

May God Bless Everyone in My Community! Yes, that includes you, my blog community.
Aunt Janet

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