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.
SC Women in Leadership recently shared this:
“Public service is a calling, and for Councilwoman Jenn Hulehan, that calling led her to become a councilmember of Simpsonville. It wasn’t the title that brought her there – it was her want of change and not seeing it happen. Then she realized, if you can see the needed change, you can be the needed change. Experience or none – a commitment to your city or town is the only qualification required for being a successful councilwoman.”
“Get to know more about why Jenn chose to serve her community as well as curated news on issues affecting women in the latest WIL Weekly.” https://bit.ly/3g7gZP8
Did you know one of our Councilmembers is a veteran? Do you know which one? Yesterday, I was in a workshop on Diversity Leadership in Action. I’m proud that we have a diverse Council. It makes us stronger. You can look at us and see some of that, but as we were discussing in my workshop, diversity is often more about what you can’t see on the outside. And what can be most important in work is diversity of thought. The members of our Council come from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences. We have different families, educations, work experiences. We think differently, offering different perspectives. Sometimes we change or modify our thinking because of one another. And that’s what makes us stronger.
You can read more about what I’ve said about the importance of different backgrounds complementing one another and how some of our Councilmembers do that on the #Jenn4Ward in this post from 2 years ago: http://ow.ly/FNNI30pSmwL.