New year brings changes


Change is here in 2013. Embrace it, Henry County.

How about a new sheriff and a new county supervisor?

There is one school district superintendent completing his first school year at New London.

WACO will have a new superintendent of schools this year, while Mt. Pleasant Schools are in the midst of a search to replace long-time administrator John Roederer.

We have a new bank leader in David George at Two Rivers, and a bank in Great Western still in its first year.

Community First Credit Union is a new financial institution in a brand-new building less than one year old.

Mark Petty has taken over as chairperson of the Mt. Pleasant Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Holly Jones is our new Henry County Tourism Director.

There?s a new restaurant downtown in Maid Rite, and there?s a new building for one taking shape at Dairy Queen.

We?ve got a new football coach for the MPCHS Panthers as Shawn Striegel replaces icon Bob Jenson.

Jeffrey Meyer has succeeded Mt. Pleasant Library?s longtime director Gayle Trede.

And soon, we hope, there will be new leadership at Iowa Wesleyan College to succeed the departing Jay Simmons.

Now, these are just examples, because I?m sure I?ve missed something. (This is a cleverly disguised disclaimer necessary because the old memory has been known to overlook the obvious.)

The point is, seems like we?ve got more change than usual for our communities. That?s not bad, but it can be a bit, uh, disconcerting, disorienting, discombobulating, yes?

Any time you deal with a new person in charge, whether it?s a business or a part of government, there?s uncertainty. Will this person treat me as well as his or her successor? Will this business still offer the same goods and services as when the last person in charge was running things?

Then there are government entities. A new college president or school superintendent will end up doing things that touch everyone and everything. There?s no way they will be doing all that touching in the same manner as their predecessors.

Change also seems magnified when it comes after several years without it. How can it not be very, very different not to see John Roederer at Mt. Pleasant School board meetings after a couple of decades, for example? We may need to hire him as a greeter just so board meeting attendees know they?ve come to the right place!

Yet change is inevitable. Change can be good. Change can be welcome.

Getting to the ?good? and ?welcome? involves that ?embrace? mentioned up top of these lines. That doesn?t mean we have to accept changes that we don?t think are good ? yet (here?s one I forget earlier) Mt. Pleasant residents could find a nice, new Dairy Queen building still stocked with that awesome ice cream served by those perky young people is an improvement after awhile.

Sure, change takes some getting used to ? but speaking as someone who was a change here several years back, we change agents appreciate a chance to prove our worth.