The New Year is almost upon us!

December 31, 2015

Dear Islanders:

RE: The New Year is almost upon us!

Twilight

Twilight is beautiful word. It’s that time between day and night that photographers sometimes refer to as the “golden hour” (when you can take the best shots). It’s also the time when our imaginations are often most alive. But the word can also refer to something a bit more unsettling: the arrival of darkness and the unknown. There is that old show The Twilight Zone. Just the thought of its creepy theme and some of its images—the talking doll or apocalyptic computer—make me uneasy.

I always feel that the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day is like being in a twilight zone of sorts. It’s hard to tell what day it is. And although you are having fun, there’s a certain degree of anxiety. Maybe you spent too much or indulged in a few too many left over cookies. And then there is the nagging thought of the return to work as usual and responsibility just around the corner.

Resolutions

I find it helpful to overcome the anxiety every year by engaging in the tradition of making resolutions and reflecting soberly on the status of my resolutions from the previous year. I set aside some time of isolation to do this. Because of my new responsibilities as Town Supervisor, my planning has been more intense than in previous years. This preparation has allowed me to look forward to the nostalgia and hope of New Year’s Eve with a clear mind, because at least I know there is a game plan for 2016. I can also look forward to the "swearing-in" on January 1st with excitement rather than anxiety.   

Reorganization

The most urgent matter on my plate is the reorganization meeting that will take place at Town Hall on January 4th. The reorganization meeting is the first regular board meeting of the year for every town. It just happens to be my first official day of work as well! 

In the reorganization meeting, many housekeeping matters are discussed. For example, we set out the town advisory boards and the relevant Town Board liaisons, and we designate town memberships, banks, accounts, etc. I will also have the chance to appoint my Deputy Supervisor, Assistant, Committee Members, etc. I am looking forward to kicking off the year by getting all this housekeeping "stuff" out of the way, so I can so I can finally focus on all the issues I am so excited about.

A real challenge

Last night at Town Hall, I had my first full (albeit unofficial because we are not all sworn in) meeting with my new Town Board colleagues: two veteran council members and our two council members elect. We had a great discussion. I think we all understand that this year there is more of a significant transition taking place, so preparation, communication, and cooperation is key. After last night, I am more excited than ever about tackling the challenges that our town faces.

Further, all of the Town Hall employees I have spoken with have gone out of their way to be helpful and welcoming. I am so looking forward to working with that team! My Assistant and right hand, Cyndy Montana, has been training for her new job for over a week with the current Supervisor and her Assistant. I expressed some concerns before, but after a hard fought election, I think it was natural for there to have been some misunderstandings. In the end, the current Supervisor and her Assistant really put themselves out there and worked hard to prepare us for our new duties. We are very appreciative of their support.   

Hello, new chapter

I look forward to seeing many of you at the "swearing-in" on January 1 at the Buffalo Launch Club at noon. And I also look forward to seeing those who RSVP’d for the event at the Beaver Island Clubhouse that evening from 4 pm - 7 pm.  Again, if we missed anyone who would like an invite to our celebration, please contact me.

Yes, we have gone through a bit of a transition, and there is a lot of learning to do (and maybe even some fumbling in the dark). But we will get through this twilight period of transition. The closer we get to January 1, the more confident I feel that this time may actually be dawn and not dusk. There is light just around the corner!

Happy New Year and best wishes to you and all those you hold dear!

With sincere regards,

Supervisor McMurray (“Nate”)