February 22, 2011
I will begin with a confession: as a rule, I dislike large meetings and in general will do my level best to avoid them. So I’m not what you could call a regular at the Los Gatos Town Council meetings. But I did go tonight, and am very glad I did.
What encouraged me to attend was a part of the agenda to honor the retiring volunteers, or as they referenced it, “end of term commendations”. My husband, Jim Handy, served as a Parks Commission volunteer for seven years (I had thought it was nine…it felt longer!). Together with Dick Konrad (another super nice volunteer from the same hard working group) and quite a few others from other commissions, he was given a nice framed statement of appreciation from the town. (In the pic below, Jim is to the right of Mayor Joe Pirzynski and Dick Konrad is to the far right – I apologise that I do not know all of the other wonderful volunteers’ names – they are from all kinds of commissions.)
This was nicely done, as was the segment beforehand which recognized the hard work of the Fisher Middle School Kiwanis Builders Club. They had gathered 400 pair of jeans to donate to the needy and were beautifully & appropriately honored.
But what surprised me, and may cause me to willingly go back to another town council meeting, was the very moving speech by the mayor on the “State of the Town“. I was truly taken by what he had to say – and apparently I wasn’t the only one as he got a standing ovation when he concluded his talk.
To get it all, you’d do best by watching the video replays on the town’s site. I wasn’t taking notes so it’s not inconceivable that I do not recall all that he said. But I was impressed by his discussion of our town’s sense of community despite the economic challenges, what is being done to try to keep us fiscally sound, how we’re addressing some issues (roads and sidewalks in the Almond Grove need repair, the North 40 is something we should all keep our eyes on), a sense of gratitude for how involved so many residents are and a call to action – recommit yourself to volunteering where you are now and find new ways to help make our town the desireable place it is. That can mean helping to slow down traffic, helping with any of our fabulous community projects (Shakespeare in the Park, our musical venues and so many other worthy efforts).
There was a break in the meeting before a budget was discussed, so many of us not disposed so much to meetings (I mean the middle school kids and several of us there to support our retiring volunteers), made a quiet exit. But, not really so quiet as Jim and I saw an awful lot of people we know at the meeting and did some catching up.
This was a very positive “meeting experience” for me. I might just have to go back again to another Los Gatos Town Council Meeting. At least until the break halfway through!