Newbies need not apply

30 11 2009

I’ve always gotten a kick out of sentiments that people who haven’t lived their entire lives within a 2-foot radius of their birthplace for 68 years have no right to say anything about the community they live in now.
I am not a native of this area. In fact, the first time I had ever even heard of Amsterdam was during a track meet my junior year of high school.
I didn’t even know the Great Sacandaga Lake, Northville or Fulton County even existed until I met the beautiful temptress who eventually became my wife (Northville High School, class of 1991).
But I found this piece of earth. I liked it. In fact, I moved here, and lived in the general area (mosty in Broadalbin) for more than a decade when for some reason, we decided to leave.
But after two years in the Southern Tier (Corning to be exact) and two years in the South (Kinston, North Carolina), we wanted back in.
Why? Because I, and my wife and children, like it here.
But what kills me is that so-called “lifers” will complain that people who haven’t live their lives here are speaking out about what they want their community to look like.
Why is their opinion invalid?
The “lifers” seems to be stuck on how things used to be, and they want their communities to go back to way back when.
However, there’s a reason why “newbies” are moving and settling in around here. And these “newbies” are trying to get involved with their communties, running and getting elected to local offices.
Maybe it’s time to stop dimissing the voices of the “newbies” and start realizing that we’ve moved into the area, and are seeking to get involved, for all the right reasons.
Granted, having a knowledge of local history is important. Knowing the so-called rules of the game, who the players are, what or what not will be embraced by the community are all important, and should not be ignored.
And the “newbies” shouldn’t discount those who know local history and “how things work.” In fact, they should embrace that knowledge.
But I also think it’s time for these so-called “lifers” to understand that there is a group of civic-minded “youngsters” who have arrived and are simply looking to make their communities the best they can be.

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