The last several weeks and the immediate future has me reflecting upon the value of individuals, integration, and integrity as it relates to being part of a successful and prospering community.
Our community is made up of thousands of unique individuals with their special talents and gifts all looking to care for their families and themselves. Their life experiences, perspectives, and desires are the corner stones of what makes and has made our community successful since 1875 as a city serving the greater Marion County Community.
We’ve had generations of individuals that have contributed to the economic drivers of our community and graciously made personal and professional sacrifices for the needs and well-being of others before themselves. They gave of their time in roles of leadership, they gave of their wealth and property, and they humbly accepted the precepts of law and order to create a community of harmony and shared prosperity.
I’m so very appreciative of the countless residents of our community that still hold and affirm these values today.
This all leads me to the second thought; Integration. Since September 1875, our community has been committed and dedicated to support all people of religious practice and vocational pursuits. Under the leadership of Mayor I.H. Costello the elected officials crafted the initial set of ordinances to create a framework of success for all people to live in close proximity, and allow for pursuit of happiness while balancing the needs for the greater good.
The first 25 or so ordinances defined the types of business and location preferences, defined limitations on individual creativity or independence, and actions for social well being as a community. These initial guiding principles of local government are still the basis of our current City Code.
The Ordinances and Code of Marion have allowed successful coexistence to create and sustain the community that we are proud to share as a great place to work, live, raise a family, and retire. We have some of the best schools in the nation coupled with an extremely safe and secure environment for our personal & professional endeavors.
My last thought naturally lands upon Integrity. Nothing in a civil society is sustainable without personal and professional integrity. I’ll be the first to admit that there has not, and will not ever be a set of written rules that will be seen as 100% fair to all persons or businesses. However, just like the founders of our nation and city, our personal integrity, exhibited in our personal actions and sacrifices for the greater good, is the key to continued success and prosperity for our family, friends, and neighbors.
So, as we approach that time of year in which we welcome people to our great community as students, educators, workers, retirees, entrepreneurs, and neighbors, please help me extend the offer to help them leverage their individual dreams and desires in a manner that allows for full and rewarding integration through knowledge and understanding of the local culture. All in the manner that has defined our community since 1875 our personal integrity is our greatest community asset or more simply put:
“Around here, we do the right things for the right reasons no matter what or who is involved.”