Independence Day brings out the best in Americans. It brings out family, unity, and our long history of freedom and liberty. Everyone feels closer, we feel united on the Fourth of July. The same thing happens in Hermann. We see our community come together to celebrate our history and we become a big family, knowing that we are a Community that helps and cares for each other whenever necessity requires it. The Hermann community was on display at the Riverfront on July 4th. Children from around the area played together, enjoyed the rides and ate candy and cookies, making do with the limited space and the absence of bouncy houses because of the flood. Their parents renewed old acquaintances and swapped stories of times long ago. The parade and fireworks were awesome and were enjoyed by locals as well as visitors.
This feeling of “community” is deeply ingrained in Hermann people. We want our community to be a close-knit, respectful, self-helping group of people; but differences can crop up and in some instances override and undermine our great sense of community. Hermann is no different from any other small town. People bicker and choose up sides as we argue over the issues. This often slows down progress for the entire community. It muddies the issues, obscuring a clear cut sense of purpose. Sometimes we think our position is absolutely correct, but it usually isn’t. The most important position is always the one that helps the entire Hermann community.
Whether it’s group-think by similar retail businesses such as restaurants, bars or lodgers, the healthcare industry, education providers, manufacturers, East-side citizens or West-side citizens, no single position overrides the best interests of the community as a whole. The welfare of our entire community should always be the overriding focus of our efforts.
So, who finally decides the complicated and complex problems of the Hermann community? It is your elected officials who must decide. They must balance each of these groups’ positions and their points of view and determine the best course of action to move the city forward. If all opinions are not carefully weighed and balanced, we can end up with a less than optimum solution or an ill-advised plan of action.
City government must constantly balance and re-balance all of these stakeholders, retail businesses, citizens, healthcare, schools, manufacturing, communications, transportation, construction, families and seniors. Each of these segments contributes to our community in uniquely different ways and each is indispensable to the community as a whole!
Some of these groups often make demands because they truly think their positions are more important than others and they become upset when their solution is not chosen. The Mayor and Aldermen must be strong enough and wise enough to consider every alternative and make the best decision no matter how loud the noise.
President Truman spoke of King Solomon’s Prayer during an address to a joint session of Congress. Truman asked the Almighty to give him the wisdom to make the correct decisions and a servant’s heart to ensure fairness.
If Hermann citizens work to keep an open mind and to trust the judgement of their elected officials, we will be able to constantly foster the same true spirit of community that we feel each July 4th. Let’s make Hermann the very best community it can be for everyone by helping support our city government with informed opinions and advice.