Longwood (FL) City Council Meeting
18 September 2017
Paul Truman (339 words)

Thank you Mayor, Commissioners, Staff, and community members for the opportunity to offer opening words for tonight’s meeting.

This is a room in which there are many challenging debates, moments of tension, of frustration, and ideological division. This is also a room where we come to work together and where we have much more in common than we realize or remember during our discourse.

Let us be mindful that this room is filled with our diverse human family with common values and needs. Let us cherish and celebrate our shared capacity for reason and compassion. Our similarities and our ability to recognize the value and worth of our entire community is what moves us forward.

During Hurricane Irma, Florida was tested in how compassionate and wonderful we can be. Through and through, we saw the best that our communities offer.  Whether by sanctuary from the worst of the storm to letting folks recharge their cell phones and computers on our generators and in our restaurants, we should all be in awe of the greatness of Longwood’s citizens.

The burden of the storm was not equally carried, so it is important that we take the time in meetings like this to thank the hardworking police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and every line man Florida currently houses. From the bottom of our hearts, thanks to each and every one of you.

I offer additional thanks to all the city workers and elected officials for doing their best to help Longwood make it through the Hurricane. From executive decisions to Facebook updates, your efforts helped so many make it through the hurricane better prepared and better informed. The civic lesson on how lift stations work was a lesson learned by most.

The City of Longwood’s Mission  is: “To foster citizen trust by practicing open, accountable, and responsive government; providing quality core services; promoting long-term prosperity.” Thank you for upholding these virtues during these days as we weathered the storm together and as you deliberate this evening.

Thank you for your time.