I get this question a lot or some version thereof. The essence of it, how do I like being on the Village Council and is it what I expected.
It is exactly what I expected, but knowing it and living it are two different things.
How do I like it? That’s a loaded question for me. I don’t want to say I dislike it because I feel that is disrespectful to all of the people who volunteered on my behalf and put their faith in me by voting for me.
That said, I cannot say that I LOVE it either.
What it is….all consuming. Time – Energy – Mental Capacity – Patience. I spend a lot of time asking questions of, and listening to, our Village staff so that I can better serve citizens with concerns, as well as prepare appropriately for Council meetings. There’s a lot of looking into the past so I can see what roads have been travelled and the turns those roads may take. There’s looking into the future so that I can prepare now for the changes to our community that are inevitable.
There’s a lot of pressure to make the right decision and yet there is never a single right decision. There is no clear cut path for any community and there is never a way to make 100 percent of the people happy 100 percent of the time.
I was speaking to another candidate running for office a few weeks ago and said, “I feel like I’m going to disappoint people. That I may end up being someone other than they thought I was.” And she responded to me, “You can only be you”. A simple response, but one that resonated with me. She was right. I cannot be anyone else. I cannot pretend to make decisions in a way other than how I view the situation at hand and how my personal experiences, education and knowledge play into those. All I can do is research, ask the right questions of the right people, and respect my office and those that I serve by thinking each issue through to the best of my ability.
I know there will be failures, but I hope that the successes end up outweighing them. Each success that comes I must find a way to feel internally rewarded so that I don’t get bogged down by the things I cannot change or fail at influencing in the way I had hoped to.
So, this role isn’t all bad. I see the potential for it to be, as it is already slowing becoming….
Rewarding – through making positive changes to our community with the help of our citizens and our Village staff.
Inspirational – by having the opportunity to meet and work with so many hard working, intelligent and passionate people.
Exciting – because a wise man once told me, “If you’re stuck in the past you’re going to get left behind” and, as a councilwoman, I have an exciting chance to help bring about progress to our tiny corner of the universe.
Council meeting on Monday. I hope to see many of you there.