Micah’s Incoming Speech at the Annual Business Meeting on May 29, 2020
Good morning all,
Thirty years ago, my dad, Jerry Maxwell, stood on stage and was sworn in as the 44th President of FCCMA. Knowing him, he probably gave an inspiring speech which probably touched the hearts of the whole audience. Fair warning: my dad is a great speaker, and I am not. So, lower your expectations and if this thing starts going downhill, understand that I may fake an internet outage.
As you all know, the impact of COVID-19 has significantly altered how we implement programs and services and how we prioritize resources, in both our association and our individual communities.
Today is evidence of that as we hold our first ever virtual business meeting and is supplemented by the fact that that we canceled our annual conference. However, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
To quote Albert Einstein and a whole lot of other people, “in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity”, and never, at least in my career, has such a significant opportunity to make meaningful change presented itself.
My dad mentioned analytical leaders when he swore me in on Tuesday, and that resonated with me.
Now, more than ever our communities are counting on us to ask the questions that they may not know to ask. We must ask these questions to ensure that the decisions we make, most of which they will never know about, have received a level of analysis and thought by leadership commensurate with the importance of its impact to the community, and to make decisions that truly benefit our communities, not just part of our communities. These are our responsibilities, and the expectation that you should have of your board of directors as well.
We are going to have some hard decisions over the next few years, and they are always going to impact someone, whether direct or indirect.
I believe that our commitment to leave behind our communities better than we found them and to leave behind our association better than we found it puts us in a prime position to take advantage of the opportunity we have been afforded.
As for the next year of FCCMA, I am committed to continuing the work Shannon began with Sarah Hannah-Spurlock and Jill Silverboard related to the Women in Local Government Training Program. Efforts like these are exactly what we need to diversify the pool of perspectives in our association and places the participants in a position to succeed in our profession. I am also committed to identifying and supporting other perspectives in our association that we lack or have historically lacked.
For me, the sustainability of our association and our profession is driven by our commitment to expand the pool of perspectives around us, and in our willingness to evolve our own.
Before I shut up, there are a great many people who help you on your path to the presidency, too many to name right now. But, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a thank you to our staff at FCCMA: Casey, Linda, Melanie, Chelsea, and most importantly, Carol Russell. These folks are the engine that keeps us going and without them I would have never made it here. And, I am sure there are times when they wish they hadn’t.
To my boss, Bill Horne: thank you for the opportunity to pursue this position and for supporting me throughout my career. You have been a wonderful mentor and boss over the years and are a big reason for why I am here today. To the Mayor, Council, and the rest of our staff in Clearwater: I appreciate all of the patience you show me while I try to balance work and me commitment to FCCMA.
I also want to thank my family: To my mom and dad for instilling in me the morals that I believe make me a successful manager and for being at my swearing in; my two sisters for always watching out for a kid that usually wasn’t focused on what was in front of him; And of course, my wife, who I know I drive a little crazy from time to time, but who I will love until the end. Finally, I want to give special thanks to President Shannon Lewis. Shannon’s leadership over the last year, especially during this time of crisis, has been nothing less than superhuman. We all know that running a city during an unprecedented time like this is very difficult. Shannon is not only doing that, but she has led this association through its own difficult period. Shannon, I would never have wished these last few months on you, but I also believe that you were the right person at the right time to be at the helm of our association and you have set us up for success as we move through this crisis.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to working with all of you in the coming year.