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Councilman's Corner

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By Matt Brooks, Williston City Council

 Service is the rent we pay for being

One of my goals as a City Councilman when I was appointed was to engage people and encourage service to our community. 

Holding an elected position isn't the only way to affect positive change in Williston. I was raised to understand that service to community and others wasn't a check off, it was a way of life. No matter how small of a gesture or service it may be, it goes a long way to encouraging others to participate in the "pay it forward" mentality. 

A lot of folks say we are living in a "WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME" era. I would have to agree. I have had corporate trainings that beat this type of mentality into its staff and, to me, it breeds great salespeople but what does it teach us as servant citizens in our community? More importantly, what are we teaching our children about service above self? 

In his inauguration speech in 1961, John F. Kennedy said, "And so my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." 

Now that's a statement I can stand for and we can build upon here in Williston. We are slowly coming out of the shadows and I would argue with anyone stating Williston isn't seeing growth. Bringing Williston into the spotlight is something we have control over and have been working towards. We can choose to be involved. We can choose to bring ideas, solutions and energy to the table. We can choose to grow and shape our city in the manner in which we want it to be shaped. We can choose to SERVE. 

We have to collaborate as a community to really make a difference. I would equate our city's moving forward to owning a vehicle. If we aren't servicing our vehicle on a regular basis, if we aren't keeping the proper amount of air pressure in our tires, we cannot go very far and the wheels may very well fall off if the engine doesn't break down first. And who wants to buy or invest in a car that may not have been taken care of or even neglected?

I have heard many people say that they live outside the city limits and their opinion doesn't matter or they are not eligible to participate. Well, I am telling you it does matter, and the City Council wants to hear from everyone that has something productive to bring to the table to move Williston forward. Also, you don't have to live in Williston to serve Williston. Buy from local businesses, join the Chamber of Commerce, volunteer at a school, join a civic organization, become active in serving in some way. A small act makes a big difference.

We also want to encourage anyone wanting to be involved with city boards and committees to please inquire immediately with the city. There are vacancies on a number of boards. Just a few to note: Pension Board, Planning & Zoning, Board of Adjustments, Chapter 185 Board. While there are requirements for all of these positions, we really encourage interested individuals to engage the city and apply. Call 352-528-3060 for an application to serve.

I also want to encourage people to promote the positive aspects of Williston and let's work together to fix the shortcomings. You are all marketing representatives, selling Williston as a place to open or expand a business or relocate a family. Working together and serving Williston is the only way we will grow and stimulate our local economy. 

I heard a great quote from Bobbie Smith at the recent Williston Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet at the Williston Crossings RV Resort, "Service is the rent we pay to our community." I couldn't agree more. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to do my part and I hope others will join in on promoting growth in Williston.