Winter Park (FL) City Council Meeting
23 October 2017
David Williamson (353 words - 2:06)


It’s my honor today to join you to offer opening words—often referred to as an invocation or prayer.

But the words I’ve chosen are intended to invoke the shared values that every one of us arrived with today and it is my sincere hope everyone feels included.

Through the millennia we’ve learned the hard lesson that the best way to govern the people is for the people to govern themselves.

Today, in this tradition, we travel from our homes and businesses across the City to participate. Citizens, staff, and those elected; we all converge on this chamber to join as one community, indivisible; united in the shared purpose of service—service to one another—service to those we know—and those we may never meet.

We arrived as individuals; each with unique ideas and experiences, but ALL of us with a need to fulfill.

Citizens request assistance and collaboration with the City. They offer their concerns and we are grateful for their courage to speak and, even more so, for their trust in this process.

The needs they bring will be met by others here—those who have a different need—a need to serve.

This may be the City staff who provide invaluable advice and expertise. We truly appreciate their continued work on our behalf.

Their years of service combined provide many decades of knowledge and experience. Their wise counsel is appreciated more than can be expressed in a few words.

Elected officials listen, deliberate, debate, and decide the path forward for the people of Winter Park and its cherished visitors. We can never offer our thanks enough, for that thankless task.

While we work together here, and this evening after we leave this chamber, let us carry with us this same spirit of service and goodwill.

Today, tomorrow and every day that follows. For together we can accomplish far more than we can on our own.

This is why—and this is how we decided to assemble, to serve, and to govern, ourselves.

It is why our nation’s first and best motto was “Out of many—one. E Pluribus Unum.”