Tuesday, March 9, 2010 was truly historic as the residents of Tusayan voted overwhelmingly to incorporate their town. As I participated heavily in the grassroots campaign efforts, I was inspired every day as I visited with those residents and heard their voices, ideas, concerns, dreams, and aspirations. I was continually amazed at the excitement and energy of this group of people who have largely gone unrecognized and unnoticed in our community, who finally came to the realization that they can make a change to the status quo. This was very different from the last time, and as I saw that message resonate I had no doubt that this time would prove successful because the residents of Tusayan want change. This group was largly underestimated by the opposition, and this is why the effort did not fail and the residents who live here have made the difference.
There is no question that this was a hard fought battle and through the process it was divisive and feelings were hurt on both sides. Unfortunately much of the rhetoric of any campaign stings as people's friends, family, employers, opinions, motives, and strategy are fiercly challenged. I have personally known every individual on both committees for many years, and they are wonderful people who love our town. All have contributed to much good here, and I'm certain that none of us desire to purposefully and personally hurt each other. While we may strongly differ in opinion and process, the one thing we all have in common is our love for this town and the liberty we all share that makes this effort even possible. May we focus on these commonly shared ideals! And I hope that part of the outcome of this is more empathy, understanding, and respect for each other, especially now that both sides know exactly what it feels like to win, and to lose.
It is time to start new and work to build our future together, as we are now fully empowered to do so! I invite everyone to get involved! Please - no more lawsuits, no more challenges, no more insulting rhetoric, no more of the family feuds. Let's now do our very best to do the right thing for our new town and the residents who live here. We all deserve nothing less.