Although I have enjoyed writing about different things affecting my neighborhood, my San Mateo, I am moving on. Life serves up many surprises. I am taking the time to enjoy my family and friends for a bit. However, I learned a few things along the way.
There isn't a writer or editor that doesn't take this bit of reporting seriously. They have to develop thick skins when some comments are so very personal. I watched my first editor then the current editor show integrity, transparency, and grace even when under fire. It is easy to forget as readers that this local new site we all have come to think of as our town's is but a toddler in the news world. Yet they forge ahead trying to meet the needs of all with the information provided.
I learned that even a small voice (OK, so I'm kind of loud, but at least I didn't type in all caps) can be heard. And in this community, the voice will not just be heard but open a conversation and once in a while affect change.
The pleasures of participating in various programs here in San Mateo have enriched my life. CERT training, the Citizens Academy, public art exploration, just to name a few. The people I have met and worked with have left lasting impressions.
I have written that the San Mateo Police and Fire employees do not just work their jobs but live them. Please believe me when I say how true that is for most City of San Mateo employees. I continue to see staff volunteering their time selflessly for the community over and over. They are not paid for that but rather they have a sense of community that impels them to better the world around them.
Local government is democracy at its truest. Although you may not always agree with them, be proud, be supportive, be heard. The good men and women that serve as city council serve for a monthly stipend of $600.00 a month. They are virtually volunteers that want to have a positive impact on their community and world. $600.00 a month to be dissected in the news, to be interrupted when out at dinner, to listen to everyone of us. They are not faking sincerity. They are sincere. I have never had the privilege to work in a city that listens and responds to its residents more.
OK, now I've actually bored myself. Before I leave I want to thank the readers than take the time to comment. Some constructively, some just to vent, but all considerate to take time to voice an opinion. It is the most important thing we do as citizens, in my humble opinion. We voice our needs, opinions, and concerns through voting and being involved in community. Also thank you for the e-mails, calls, and invitations. What can I say? Patch readers rock!
I am proud to have been a part of Patch and a quite sad to be signing off. But as I am compelled to rake now, having given up my leaf blower in last week's column, I must.
From the editor: What will you miss most about Denise's column? Tell us in the comments.