On Election Day, Commissioner Ryan Nero added a two-word phrase to the top of many of his orange campaign signs. It was a simple, “thank you.” A notable addition, timed before the polls opened, demonstrating civility and manners. 

Election Day has passed, and most of the information that was shared in our community leading up to it was positive. There was only one bizarre piece that reflected a toxic point of view, which does not need any more oxygen. While any single candidate could have used their resources and time to highlight dirty laundry of any candidate, our leaders chose to be gracious. 

So thank you to the candidates who found the power of diplomacy and chose to focus on their own accomplishments and promises. An unseen bond is built that creates trust in the community that binds us together. There were excellent candidates, all of whom can hold their heads high in town, all of whom are loved and appreciated for their gifts and skills, all of whom I hope will still find value in being a good neighbor and friend moving forward. 

As a response to “thank you,” we politely say, “you’re welcome,” as an acknowledgement of their thanks and an expression of our willingness to provide needed assistance in the future.

“You’re welcome” is an interesting phrase. It is incomplete, not specifying where or to what one is welcome. You’re welcome to my home? You’re welcome to ask again for help? You’re welcome to be my friend? It is a common expression of courtesy and manners that is used to maintain a positive relationship with others. While it is intended to convey that the person’s gratitude is appreciated and accepted, it extends a gesture of hospitality and openness.

It is a phrase that symbolizes a bond of relationship, a respected trust in the future. This unseen bond is also shown when people have grace in concession speeches after an election. Because of the grief that comes with being a candidate who is not selected to serve, it requires incredible courage and strength to be graceful and find a place to be kindhearted, as those graceful moments shed light on the true nature of a person, and brings a heartfelt rebirth to the election outcome. 

I appreciate that our local elections are timed with the rebirth of spring just as the flowerbeds along Harvard Street pop with their vibrant colors — a reliable showcase of stunning displays, created by ordinary people who share their extraordinary gifts of creativity and hope through bursts of joyful planters. 

Along with the arrival of the delicacy and beauty of spring, I thank the people who were willing to put themselves out there as candidates to serve our community. I want to say thank you to our community for being so welcoming and positive in a mostly graceful election. 

May we continue to face challenges and disagreements with poise, dignity, and openness when emotions are high. Our bonds of civility might come in handy as we face the uncertainty of the future.