It’s hard to believe we’re just days away from Christmas. This has been a year of ups and downs, but more positive progress than setbacks. I am grateful for the hard work and effort by our staff at Town Hall, by our council members and by members of our community that have stepped up to serve on our various boards and commissions. We have had a broad array of people volunteering their time to help us with community service projects, historic preservation, beautification, and enhancing our business environment. A special thank you to all who have made a positive difference in our town!
We had a productive council meeting last week as we passed the 2017 Municipal Budget on second reading. We also unanimously passed first reading of ordinances to allow mobile vendors (i.e. food trucks), amendment to the business license ordinance related to construction close-out procedures, and added demolition permits and mobile vendor permits to our fee schedule. I am always grateful for the monthly reports our department staff share with us to keep us informed of the daily operations as it relates to our town.
We also enjoyed a brief presentation from JJ Sauls and Spencer Johnson from our Explorers Post about their activities. They help in so many ways, whether it’s assisting our officers to direct traffic on Labor Day, helping with road clean-ups or the annual Toys for Tots drive. They are learning about what it takes to be a police officer, and they participate in an annual competition where they put these skills to the test. It’s a great training program for these young people who have an interest in a public safety career. We currently have 12 people participating in the post, which is led by Officer Jason Byars. I echo Chief Ziegler’s comment that their maturity and work ethic give us good hope for our future.
Town Hall will be closed this Friday and next Monday for Christmas holidays. Of course our police officers will still be on duty and our utilities maintenance staff will be on call as well in case of system emergencies. Hopefully we won’t have any. If see one of our Chapin police officers or utilities staff during the holidays, please let them know how much you appreciate them for what they do for us.
We will not have a Mayor’s Message next week so this will be the last installment for 2016. I appreciate the Chapin Times and Lake Murray News for making this weekly column available to their readers. And I thank our email subscribers for their interest and encourage you to pass it along to your friends and colleagues that want to stay informed about Chapin.
In the New Year, we are going to provide residents and business owners in the town with quarterly updates by mail, much like the Kiplinger Report. We will track the progress of ordinances and resolutions the council passes, provide updates on upcoming projects like our wastewater treatment plant expansion or road projects, new businesses in the town, and highlight other important opportunities for citizens to be engaged in our community. Be on the lookout for this later in January.
I appreciate the opportunity and privilege to serve you as the Mayor of Chapin. It’s been an inspiring journey and a pleasure to meet and spend quality time with so many of you, whether that’s running into you at the grocery store, coffee shop or attending meetings where we are all working together for a common cause. Chapin is a great place to live, and I am so thankful to call it my home. I hope you and yours have a safe and very Merry Christmas!