2019 is now officially over. We can all reflect back determining what we did right and what we did wrong. A new year is simply a new beginning. A time to make wrongs right, change direction – striving to be the best we can as individuals and as a community. 

Many of you have voiced your opinion to me that you really don’t like the nature center. I am not a supporter of allocating county taxpayers money to pay for the nature center but it was set in motion before I took office and much of the funding had been privately raised. Someone stated “How will they get people to come there? Will we have to pay full-time people to man it?” I don’t know the answers and I am not a person who readily believes “If you build it they will come.” That being said, being optimistic is often simpler than being pessimistic. I am a supporter of opportunities that will affect the whole county in a positive direction such as anything that would supply permanent well-paying jobs. 

The EMS building affects all of us. The Meal Site as it is currently named does not affect the whole county, but that does not mean it is not a good thing. If we neglect the elderly we will doom ourselves as a nation and a county. We can’t be afraid of getting old. Old is good, if you are treasuring life. The elderly have so much to offer. They have lived life and are often full of wisdom and knowledge only age can bring. Many elderly have lived through the Depression and world wars, forgetting the past could lead to a very unstable future. 

The second open forum concerning only wind turbines was held Jan. 7, from 6-8 p.m. in the Madison County Courthouse second floor courtroom. The third and final forum will be held in the Truro High School auditorium Monday, Jan. 13, 6-8 p.m. Supervisors are giving all of you an opportunity to voice your opinion. The Earlham forum was very respectful, which allowed supervisors to gather information and ideas without any nasty comments. People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Be mindful of that when you attend. We will not allow nasty comments or personal attacks at the upcoming forum.  The moment we cease to love each other, the moment we break faith in each other, the light goes out. 

Friday, Dec. 27, I attended a retirement party held for Mike Schirm. Thank you, Mike for your many years of good service to Madison County secondary roads. Enjoy retirement. I would offer only one suggestion, think hard before running for public office. 

January is budgeting month for supervisors. We spend nearly every day the second week of January doing the budgets and then the rest of the month with organizational meetings. Remember, local public officials affect you more than the President of the United States because they make local decisions that affect you directly, often for the rest of your life. Simple things such as closing a road or bridge, repairing a courthouse or letting it rot down, or issuing or not issuing gun permits. These are actions taken by local officials that directly affect you as a citizen. 

Take local elections seriously. It could mean a future you like or don’t like. It’s up to you because you are the government. Our Constitution opens up with “We the People”. This affirms that the Constitution is of the people, for the people, and by the people of the United States of America. “We the People” ensures an understanding that the people are the ones giving power to the government. Elected officials work for you, not you for them. 

Romans 12:18 if it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.