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Posted on: November 4, 2020

Note from the Mayor: glass half empty or half full

Rhonda Pownell 2017

As I write this, it appears highly unlikely that we'll know what the results of Election Day will hold for all of us by Wednesday. We are living in unprecedented times, with many strong emotions and perspectives on all sides. This diversity of perspective is a characteristic of our town that, used wisely, can make us stronger. This is especially true when it's held alongside grace, compassion and patience.

At the local level we are not partisan. We have political preferences, but in a small town where we see each other in the grocery store, on Bridge Square, in our churches, at our kids' sports events, those labels don't define us. We know people who don't agree with us and, for the most part, we still get along. That is part of what it means to be a neighbor or a community.

I reject the rhetoric of division and negativity. While it may sell newspapers and yield "likes" and clicks, it damages relationships and communities at all levels. The truth is that there is more that unites us than divides us; I choose to focus on what unites us.

People move to Northfield because of our fierce devotion to our small town and to one another. It’s part of our heritage. This devotion has impelled people to become involved and to work for sustainable change over many generations in our community. The result is that Northfield is vibrant and thriving.

Regardless of the results of the election, Northfield is still our home-- an open, safe, and welcoming community where we together create an excellent quality of life. It is a place where we can have real conversations about the things that matter to our day-to-day life, finding common ground among differences of opinion. It's a place where we can develop those relationships and start to counter the larger trend of divisiveness. We can "be the change".

Together we are making a difference. The pandemic has given us unique opportunities to come together to show support through the gift of our time and resources for our friends and neighbors.

Many dedicated hobbyist volunteers have made thus far over 29,000 face masks, 600 face shields and over 800 isolation gowns for organizations throughout the community. Northfield Ford Chrysler stepped up when the Community Action Center needed the extra funds to purchase a new transport van for food distribution. Northfield Community Church distributed over 1,000 boxes of free food on Saturday while nearby the local Rotary worked to make Halloween special for area children and families passing out over 800 bags of candy. Many others across the community came together and are providing home energy kits to our local mobile home owners. These are just a few examples; the list could go on and on.

I am incredibly grateful for the numerous people and organizations working together to make a difference in Northfield. I choose to remember and to be thankful. My glass is half full.

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