Political signs are everywhere signaling election time. This year, the Mayor and 2 Aldermen/lady’s positions are on the ballot.
If one is contemplating either position, one might consider these lessons learned from being Mayor.
1. To whom much is given; much is expected. If you work full-time, be prepared to spend another 20-to-40-hours-a-week doing Village work. Sanctuary, sewer, construction, ordinances, and personnel issues are not going away.
2. Everything takes longer than one expects. Projects that should take a week will take several months due to laws and regulations. Progress is painfully slow.
3. There are many Monday-morning-quarterbacks. Get use to agendas, manipulation, and questions like, “What were you thinking?” or “You should have done this or that.”
4. Nothing is as it appears. There are no easy solutions. Getting in the weeds will distort or destroy long-range vision. Lose focus; lose momentum.
5. Forget being popular. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. There are those who will not like you. Never give special favors for popularity. It is foolish and leads to ruin.
6. Expect sleepless nights; loneliness, and guilt for not having all the answers or solutions no matter how hard you try. However, never stop trying.
7. Grow a thick skin; sticks and stones will break your bones and heart.
8. Listening is more important than talking. It is fundamental to good communication.
9. Celebrate the small victories; they will lead to larger victories.
10. Always encourage, recognize, and say “thank you.”
It is not easy; it will be one of the most challenging jobs ever attempted. But there is nothing more rewarding than caring for and helping people. It is worth a few years of your life.