EVERSON: Six months in — some fun, some work
My time in office has reached the six-month mark, and it seems like only a couple of weeks ago I was sworn into the position.
As the saying goes, "Time flies when you're ... busy."
Yeah, it should say fun, but it is not always fun.
It is, however, always interesting, and rarely a dull moment. Here is a little insight into what it has been like for the past several months.
I say it has been half of a year, but in reality the work begins when the petition is submitted. The decision required me to become acquainted with the issues facing the Mitchell City Council. It called for me to bring myself up to speed with events that are in front of the Council, current and future, and follow the thought process as if I were already in the office. After all, once the votes are counted, as the elected official, it would only be make sense that I would be expected to hit the ground running. "Time waits for no man" as the saying goes.
Getting elected means I have to have an idea of what my opinions and responses to circumstances will be once the decisions become mine to make.
After being sworn into the Mayor's Office, the first big issue put forth to address is the budget for the upcoming year. What a monster.
Taking office the first task is to read through the budget and all the numbers. It was a bit like I was reading a menu written in a foreign language, making my way to the bottom line and seeing the deficit is large. That sets in motion the meetings, at least one, or two, with each department head. What does each department really need, and what can they do without?
That whittles the numbers down to a more manageable deficit. From there it is time to make decisions on what is in and what is out, and then discuss those decisions with each department head. It helps to have staff that is willing to work with you.
There are the facility openings, the proclamations for events, dedication ceremonies, events that hopefully celebrate our community and bring people together, and if all goes well, will entice visitors to make Mitchell a stop where they can have fun, shop, eat and stay.
My second day I was privileged to be able to open our new indoor pool, and have a lighter moment trying out one of the new slides.
In August, our city had the pre-Sturgis rally. What an event to bring people to downtown Mitchell. It was well-attended, and the plan is to do it again. Hopefully this will begin an annual tradition.
In October we dedicated the murals on the Corn Palace for the first time. This year's murals honoring our military, and in particular, the U.S.S. South Dakota, old and new. These events definitely get classified in the fun category — meeting new people and showcasing our community. Does it get any better?
Then it is back to the grindstone, and working to find viable solutions for issues currently in front of our community. Solutions that most people can agree with, and will find to be reasonable solutions. For instance, one of the larger, current issues facing our city is the cleanup of the Firesteel watershed and Lake Mitchell, which remains a priority. There continues to be new revelations relating to the watershed and our lake, increasing the possible solutions for making it a better asset to this community.
Of course, there are the phone calls, the office visits, the nuisance property complaints — each one involving a discussion of some type, and hopefully, a reasonably satisfactory resolution.
But just another day in paradise. Thanks for affording me this opportunity.