Monday, June 18, 2018

Be The Good

With my family and as Mayor; I am constantly presented with opportunities to make decisions that will alter the course of my family and/or our community. I asked for this life and do not take lightly, but is one that carries a burden. Every event that has happened in my life helps influence the decisions I make as a father, boss, and leader.

One of those ‘events’ happened to me this past weekend, and it was honestly pretty scary. My youngest son decided he wanted to be a submarine when he grew up and took a dive into the deep end of our local swimming pool. Luckily there was a young local girl, Kylie Lockard, who thought quickly and got Christian from the water. Thanks to our local Fire District, pool staff, and after a rush to Children’s Mercy, he ended up being just fine. Holding your two-year old’s hand while in an ambulance headed to a hospital is something that I just honestly do not want to be a part of again. These type ‘events’ always make you reassess what you are doing in life. Am I doing everything I can to make my family better? Am I doing everything I can to make our community better? Am I setting my children up for success? Am I keeping to our community’s principles and not making personal decisions? Literally everything that happens around you can change the course of life.

Events in my family keep our family continually changing. Ava has started getting deep into soccer, t-ball, and school. R.J. is enjoying karate and begins his next pre-school year soon. Christian has become really mobile and I honestly think he is borderline crazy at times. My wife and I have had to relearn a family life balance about every 6 months with these continual changes. Although times can be rough sometimes, we always find that balance and keep moving forward learning with every new experience. We make it a point to strive every day to make sure our kids continually learn and our family continually grows. We play outside, we watch and learn new things, we punish them for doing wrong, and we focus on the good. Our kids are no where near perfect, our marriage is no where near perfect, and I am personally nowhere near perfect – but we understand there is an ability to always be better. It is a choice. We choose to be better. We choose to be the good.

Events in our community keep our city continually moving in different directions and right now we are at a major crossroads. As you have heard, Shawn Henessee, our City Administrator, has accepted a position in Washington, and the City Council and I are in the middle of making a decision on the future of our City Administrator position. We have selected a candidate, but still need to reach a contract agreement with said candidate before it is official. Once this decision is made, it will have lasting effects on what the community will look like 5, 10, 15, and 20+ years down the road. It is a decision that should not be taken lightly. The individual selected, along with the City Council must do everything we can to keep the progress we have made over the last 2 years going. We are on the brink of delivering on our economic development policies, we are putting the finishing touches on creating a more streamlined community through our improved codes, and we are now actually holding people within and contracting for the city accountable. Every decision our Council makes, clear down to the smallest budget item can alter the future of our community. No matter how simple or large that decision is, we must always ask if it is in the best interest of the community as a whole. We must always be "Community First, People Always." Although there are important people in our community, people come and go. The community of Pleasant Hill will be here forever. We must always focus our decision making on what is best for the community. We must always be and do the good.

All of the decisions I have made have made an impact on my life. Some people make fun of me for being the 'oldest' 29 year old ever. I would at times tend to agree with them. I understand the life I have chosen makes it difficult to find time for fun. I try to get out to the lake and relax, but that is usually just filled with phone calls from a citizen complaining about potholes or a text from a family member in need of something. Being a Supervisor at Honeywell FM&T, Mayor of a town, and being married with 3 young children lends you to live a life that kind of just wears you down. I have lost a lot of sleep wondering if the decisions I have made in these different important resposiblities were right. I frequently get asked if I ever regretted a choice I made for my family, or a vote I made with the city. I have already sat down and talked with this to my wife, and I can honeslty say that I have zero regrets in my life. I created this busy life I live, and I would not change a thing I have done to get to this point. If I died tomorrow, I hope each and every one of you know that I died a happy man that lived everyday to his fullest. Saying you could die tomorrow and be okay with the life you have lived, does not mean I do not want to live the rest of my life. I want to be there to watch my sons play football, walk my daughter walk down the aisle to greet her future husband, and to annoy my wife as a 67-year-old grumpy bump on a log; but my faith in God and my drive to live every moment makes me comfortable with the life I have lived.

Too many times in today's society, too many people only care to do what is good for themselves. They have an expectation someone owes them something, without having earned their way to it. They literally only care about their self-benefit from a situation. Instead of doing what is good for you, try to think of what is best for your family or your community. Be the good that others need you to be. I implore you to start thinking like this as you make each and every day decisions. A simple decision to head to the pool with your family, can have lifetime effects on the future of your life. Live every day trying to make every moment worth it. Live every day trying to be the good.

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