When the Stranger says: "What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?"
What will you answer? "We all dwell together
To make money from each other"? or "This is a community"?
~ T.S. Eliot, "The Rook" 1934
We are a community of communities in a time of uncertainty, change, and challenge. For now, the rains are plentiful, the price of copper is good, and home prices are up. Beset with seemingly endless construction, Ridge and P.A. roads are a pleasure to drive and cycle on, and the expanded sidewalk and trail system are starting to connect our neighborhoods, and soon, towns. The continuing work of Silver City, and Grant County, shines as an example to, not only, our state, but also our neighboring states and our country. Just look at all the license plates.
The good fortune is not by luck, but the exhaustive efforts of our neighbors: maintaining the infrastructure we all depend on, caring for those in need, feeding the hungry when paychecks were suspended, and making the calls to keep checking in with family, blood and chosen. For doctors, nurses, teachers, tradespeople, and medical workers all over, we are still far from the end, and with another winter looming we must vigilantly remember our responsibilities toward each other.
Despite these unprecedented efforts, a pandemic can't help but expose pre-existing shortcomings, and amplify inequities. Access to affordable housing, safe and meaningful work, education and opportunity, childcare assistance, recreational services, healthcare, the bare necessities of life all came at costs too high for too many. A haunting sense of futility amidst callous disregard for life, a normalization of needless risk and preventable death, and a near-constant barrage of news reminding us of the consequences of our consumptive lifestyles and decades of difficult leadership coming home to roost.
Without any doubt, there are even tougher days ahead of us.
But we won't face them alone. The history of our state, the history of our people, has been one of struggle, family, and faith. The violence wielded to seize this land from its ancestral keepers is a sin whose stain is still reflected in the divisions of our day. Colonizers, out-of-towners, this side of town, that side of the county, the kind of people who go to that restaurant, or drink at that bar, can't trust anyone from that family, it's just a problem of the town, the county, the region, the state. The same sin of separateness used to justify ire and greed keeps us from the greater truths of our shared success, our common needs, and our place in nature.
We must meet our fears for the future with understanding, our fight reserved for the work of leaving this place better than how we found it, and our sense to discern the demagogues and hucksters from the helpers.
My name is Nicholas Prince, and in a career of service in business, non-profit, government, and personal, I wish to carry forward these ideals in the position of Town Councilor for District 2 in my home of ten years, Silver City.
The last decade of transformation in our town is palpable. Youth that have long since left this town now routinely come up to commend its changes. The development of our main street and neighborhoods has created a sense of place not known in decades. Though we all miss the camaraderie of the Buffalo and Tune Town, what has grown in our city and on our highways has created home for thousands, and a town folks coming in from the country are happy to come back to.
The strides made to incorporate unions, shout-out to AFSCME, encourage economic and small business development, and engage in public social projects and spaces, I seek to continue and expand, and open up the communication and pathways to discussions and decision making processes that have a long tradition of formality and decorum. Our government ought to be transparent and accessible to folks on the street, in our bars, all around town. The problems we each face, we all face, and ensuring a commitment to the public, our people, would be an honor to serve.