The transition to a new year is an opportunity for reflection, an opportunity for cultivation, an opportunity for commitment. How did the last year go – what did we achieve and learn? And then: …
The transition to a new year is an opportunity for reflection, an opportunity for cultivation, an opportunity for commitment. How did the last year go – what did we achieve and learn? And then: What is our intention for this new year – what do we aspire to and what do we commit to doing differently?
Mayor Faber and I are giving a “State of the City” report to the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce at 10 a.m. Jan. 20 to recap 2022 and preview 2023. For instance, we’ll note that in 2022 we wrapped up decision-making about the Sims Gateway project and rolled out decision-making about the future of the golf course, streets, aquatics, and financial sustainability – with decisions expected on all of this and more in 2023. You’re welcome to come listen, participate, and get involved.
I’ll cut to the chase, though, on one key theme: That every single thing that gets done in our community – and every one of us – depends on actual people, like the real and capable people of city of Port Townsend team who carry service in their hearts in the jobs they do.
The city team is only a part of the larger whole of this community. We all need each other, perhaps more than ever, right now. It’s easy to forget that actual people in a variety of organizations, agencies, and businesses build and repair things, teach us and our kids, heal us, inform us, deliver goods, grow things, and keep us safe.
We’ve been through a lot together this past year. On the national scene, seeds of distrust, division, and disunity have been sown – and that is a phenomenon that also manifests locally. On that local level, we’ve worked through intense emotions and opinions related to the Sims Gateway project, the Mountain View Pool, streateries and parking, the “Raccoon Lodge,” and others. We’ve lost precious time and goodwill to misinformation, the persistent wounds of history, and the tempting ease with which to criticize instead of contribute. We can’t afford to plant these crops that are doomed to fail us.
It’s been an odd and challenging few years, with some people retreating from each other, fearing each other, dealing with crises and trauma that many of us don’t see on the surface. I’ve seen it in the smiles and waves not returned or the hostilities between neighbors, and it’s heart-breaking. Some of that will continue but most of that can change, however, and it can start with each of us.
Our resolution together for the year should be for a revolution in how we treat each other. When we let our guard down, assume good intent, and give others grace, we can radically change a challenging dynamic, rekindling meaning, purpose, and understanding. Our seeds are those of compassion, collaboration, and courage. Let’s be caring, forgiving, and accepting. It can be revolutionary, like healing a long-held grudge. Or it can simply be a smile and a wave to a stranger, intonating “I see you” and our interdependence. Maybe it’s a commitment to get involved constructively in something you care about – perhaps even those community decisions above – using your energy, time, and creativity.
Whatever it is, today is fertile ground for the start. Remember, at the core of our community, our success, our future, is people. Join me in this time now of planting. The harvest will be delicious and sustain this remarkable community indefinitely.
John Mauro is the city manager of Port Townsend.
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