For the last few weeks, the pages of Enterprise Media Group newspapers have featured pictures of new council and board members being sworn in.
This marks the beginning of new leadership stepping forward and pledging their dedication to their respective communities. It's an exciting start to a new chapter for not only those individuals, but the community that supported them through elections.
What new leadership brings is the promise of a different point of view. Chances are, if someone pledges to run for office for the first time, they've been following that particular body and feel they have a vision or ideas that can help improve it. Their fresh perspective while often being engrained in the community is a good combination to bring new ideas forward while understanding the issues at hand.
It's also important to recognize the incumbents who returned for another term. Those who choose to run for reelection show an unyielding dedication to their respective boards and their communities.
Whether a new or returning board members, taking the oath to serve lawfully and with the best intentions of your constituents in mind is a leap of faith. It's a pledge to dedicate time and talents towards community betterment, to work outside of meetings to understand the ins-and-outs of pressing issues and to be a spokesperson for the community or organization they represent.
Most incumbents have ingrained in them the understanding that these positions are often not limited to the hour or two spent inside meeting chambers each week or month. They know that it comes with an open line of communication with the community. At board meetings, some talk about fielding phone calls regarding a pressing issue late at night or being stopped in the grocery store by someone concerned about an upcoming vote.
The new members likely understand that is part of the territory and putting your name next to votes is a duty of the job. They also likely understand that issues can be divisive and sometimes the correct solution is not the most popular. If a new member understands the potential discomforts that can come with service ahead of time, they are well equipped to jump in and begin serving.