The Mayor’s Corner With Tom Briggs

It was suggested that I write something about the COVID-19 pandemic for the Mayor’s Corner.

I’m not sure I’m the go-to guy to bring clarity to what we’re going through right now, but I read something recently posted by a Trappist monk referencing the significance of the third chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes to these times.

I became a Byrds fan in 1965 when I first heard their version of Turn, Turn, Turn, although the depth of its meaning escaped me at the time. Folk music types might remember Pete Seeger’s original version from 1959, which drew attention to human rights issues. The passage, commonly attributed to King Solomon, is poetic, controversial, reprimanding, comforting. and pays tribute to the wisdom of Solomon.

The core message: to understand and accept that everything in life is cyclical. Wars, weather events, periods of great persecution, world peace, periods of great prosperity, famine, and even pandemics are all cyclical (seasons). This is the universe, after all, and we have no choice other than to be subject to its great balancing act. Is it not our responsibility to respect this, and to respond accordingly? Humanity can defiantly push forward with its recreational agenda and its warped sense of entitlement in the face of yet one more “turn”, or it can pause, mask up, and view life with a chastened appreciation. This is, as it were, a time to seek purpose under heaven.

In concert with the act of seeking purpose, I’m pleased that in Franklin there have been many instances where residents have banded together to provide support for those in need during this pandemic. The relocation of the food bank and the accompanying volunteer effort, the social media posts of encouragement, the support for local businesses, the rally in support of our post office, the kind words exchanged on the street and the continued support and understanding of our school district employees as they work so hard to come up with strategies to educate our children, are all positive responses to this unexpected turn.

As far as the current state of the village, Franklin is doing surprisingly well. The Village budget is not impacted by the economic downturn at this time. Local businesses are still operating, though they have seen a downturn in revenue. Most of the village houses that have gone on the market have been sold. Several of the new homeowners are planning to be full-time village residents. Our village infrastructure is sound, though we have had an unexpected delay in this season’s sidewalk replacement. Better still, there is a possibility that a new small business will be opening in the village, offering professional level employment.

In short, while we must be cautious about whatever “turn” of the pandemic we are entering as winter sets in, we can remain optimistic about our community’s future.

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season

(turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose

under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, a time to reap

A time to kill, a time to heal

A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season

(turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose,

under heaven…