Mayor discusses event, budget and new city leadership

Independence Day

With our nation’s birthday celebration fast approaching I wanted to share some thoughts about our country.

This country was founded by flawed people (just like us), people that didn’t always “walk the talk”. That said, the words and the principles that this nation was founded on are not flawed; We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I was able to speak at a recent Black Lives Matter event that was held in our Memorial Park. I shared at that time, that if the principles our nation was founded on don’t work for everyone, then they work for no one. I also quoted Matthew 22:36-39 – “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” We are all “neighbors” in this great country of ours. We need to learn to love, honor and respect our neighbors, always.

That being said, this country’s founding principles are coming under attack. Freedom of speech, freedom to peacefully assemble to redress grievances and many other freedoms that are addressed in our Constitution and Bill of Rights are under attack by those that want to silence anyone that disagrees with their views and vision. “Political Correctness” and the “Cancel Culture” that are being promoted by a vocal and sometimes violent minority in this country are threatening our nation. We have to be able to peacefully allow for differences, for differences of opinion, differences in political views, differences in belief and culture. These differences are not negatives, these are things that have strengthened our nation through our history.

As this political season continues to stretch on into the primaries and then the general election, we need to be especially mindful and informed. We need to speak out when we see injustice, when we see ours and others rights being infringed upon. I have been thinking a lot lately about a quote from Pastor Martin Niemoller of Germany after World War II ended; “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Budget season

With COVID-19 and the restrictions (both mandatory and voluntary) that we have been living through we initially were anticipating a major budget impact. I am happy to report that so far (knock on wood) Hillsboro has not seen that impact. This obviously could change as we continue to open up and experience more COVID-19 cases, but at this point, we are excited to see the revenue from local sales tax, ad valorem property tax and utility payments holding steady. We are deep in the budget process for 2021 and be looking forward to additional information as this process plays out in the coming months.

City Administrator

Monday this week we celebrated Larry Paine’s service to Hillsboro at his retirement party. I can honestly tell you that without Larry’s leadership as our City Administrator these past 13 years, Hillsboro would not be in the good position it enjoys today. There are so many accomplishments that Larry and his City Team have done in the last 13 years that it covers 20 pages!

Larry’s leadership style has fit in well with our community. It’s never been “about Larry”, it’s always about the team and the team’s accomplishments. A quote that I found recently exemplifies Larry’s leadership style. It is from one of our founding fathers, John Quincy Adams – “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” This fits Larry to a T!

Thank you Larry on a career of service that has spanned decades. We are so blessed to have experienced your leadership and are excited that you and Susan will continue to make Hillsboro your home. God’s richest blessings to you both!

Final thoughts

We are still deep in the COVID-19 pandemic. Our community has handled this extremely well so far. Let’s not falter now. Let’s continue “Standing Strong – Together!”