A bend in the road


We haven’t had a lot of rah-rah moments around here lately, so two of them, within a week’s span, were particularly noteworthy.

The first one was a rah-rah for the snow. We couldn’t help feeling a little extra bounce in our feet on Monday morning, right through the whatever-it-was snow shower on Wednesday. It looks like winter is here to stay.

But the big rah-rah moment came at last week’s Town Council meeting, when Johnny Goetz arose from among the finger-pointing masses with a message that most of the attendees wanted to hear.

Goetz is the town’s senior building inspector and a wizard in his craft. Everybody knows Johnny to be a real good guy, and he’s been around for a good, long, while.

His message was about perspective, Mammoth history, and teamwork. When he was done, he actually drew applause from almost everyone in the Town Council Chambers. On that night, with the chambers packed with people with one gripe or another, applause for anything seemed to us to be unlikely.

But then it was “Here Comes Johnny,” and in less than four minutes he had the throng in his hand.

“I live in the community and my wife was born and raised in this town, my in-laws have been here from the 50s,” he began.

“The stories I hear at the family parties, about what the community did for the community, it is really important.

“It’s OK to have opinions and to speak your mind, but be a team. If the team can stay together, everyone achieves more.

“This community, which was unbelievable in its turnout tonight, and this council, which hasn’t wavered from any criticism, and the town staff, we can make all of this happen. We can make it happen if we’re a team.

“Every one of us has personal goals, business goals, whatever it is in life. Goals mean go out and locate success. How do we do that as a community? We do it as a team. We figure it out.

“This community, this council, this staff, love this town. It’s not about me, it’s not about anybody. It’s about this town, and we love this town and if we do it as a team, we’ll get it done.

“The last little corny thing I have to say is that a bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn.

“We have a bend in the road. We’ve got a $29.5 million bend in the road, so there’s opportunity. I mean no disrespect to anybody; I know $29.5 million is a lot of money. But nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.

“I don’t know what that opportunity is, whether it’s development, TOT, whatever. There have been some amazing ideas.

“You all know who I am. I beg you, and I’m talking as a private citizen and nothing more than that, but I think there’s a chance for us to have the greatest team in history if we all come together, and all bring out our opinions, which is fine.

“We can agree, we can disagree, or agree to disagree, but we as a team can get this done.”

When Goetz was finished, the attendees gave him an expansive round of applause.

Yes, his message did hit a few cornball notes, but that’s all right. Being on a great team doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything all the time. Good Heavens, even recent history is loaded with great teams that didn’t agree, from the Allied Command in World War II to the Bronx Zoo of the New York Yankees.

But even they had one common goal: to get around that bend in the road.