You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

You don’t know what you don’t know. Mayor Shewmaker always says that’s one of the most important lessons he learned after being elected. And he immediately set about learning. We met shortly after he was elected, and it was a good meeting. Similarly, I recently met with Councilman-elect Rupe. I told Mr. Rupe much what I told the mayor: municipal government is a team sport. I also shared with him lessons learned and advice. I encouraged him to start learning what he doesn’t know he doesn’t know–and there’s a lot. I suggested he started his MASC coursework ASAP and make a goal to graduate by February of 2023. I also recommended he meet with each of the Department Heads. I shared with him how going to Public Works to speak with the staff there was when I learned just what bad shape the department was in. It was while I was there, I heard how under-resourced they were and witnessed with my own eyes the trucks literally being held together with duct tape. I saw the safety concerns first-hand. I didn’t know anything about that before I went down there. You learn a lot by going straight to the source. I told Mr. Rupe he definitely needs to meet with our City Administrator. She runs the city. And she’s doing a darn fine job. That’s because she has the education and experience to lead a city like ours. Getting to know her should be a priority for anyone new coming in. And I also suggested he meet not just with me but with every member of Council. Because each member has different strengths, experiences, backgrounds, and expertise. And that’s what makes our Council effective. We can learn from one another, and we do, and ultimately, that’s how, working together, we come to decisions that are in the best interests of this city and her citizens. Next week is our last Council meeting of 2021. In 2022, Mr. Rupe will join us.