Mayor Rich Walker
Mayor Rich Walker

A Message from Mayor Rich Walker

August marks the return to school and, ultimately, the end of Summer. I know I ask this every year, but “where does the time go?”  If you read this column regularly, you know that my wife Catherine and I have five children. Every August, we see them off to another school year, but this year is a little different—our oldest is going to college at the University of Delaware.  

Now we have two children in high school, one in middle school, and our youngest in elementary school. Delaney entering college not only signifies her growth, but our family as a whole is embarking on a new chapter.  

These benchmarks, while moments of great pride, serve to mark the passage of time much faster than we might want. So what do we do when we realize we can’t slow down time? This underscores the importance of making the most of time by doing meaningful things. For Catherine and me, volunteerism and public service have provided us with numerous opportunities to make a difference and maximize our time. These very same opportunities have also provided us with great parenting moments and permanent family memories.  

We fully immerse ourselves in the myriad of academic, athletic, and recreational organizations that are available. Making meaningful connections with our neighbors while engaging with our own family is priceless. SOS Children’s Villages, located right in our backyard, offers bountiful opportunities to connect with little ones that have the ability to fill big hearts. Aston Gardens and Allegro Parkland provide opportunities to interact with seniors—many of whom are proud veterans.

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We see these opportunities throughout our community. Whether it’s the Mayor for a Month program or the Youth Ambassador program that the City of Parkland (City) offers its youth to be involved, or one of our Advisory Boards calling residents to volunteer, it’s clear we are not alone in our desire to make the most of time. Frequently at our City Commission meetings, we recognize members of our community who have volunteered, achieved a great accomplishment, or otherwise maximized their time.

So as you send the kids off to another school year or recall fondly when you did so, consider doing something meaningful before more time passes.  

If you would like to share your thoughts about doing meaningful things, benchmarks, the passage of time, or you have questions or comments you’d like to share with me. I would love to hear from you. I can be reached via e-mail at rwalker@cityofparkland.org or via cell phone at (973) 390-1453. Of course, I am frequently available monthly at Parkland businesses and love to talk with residents there. I encourage you to visit the City’s website cityofparkland.org and click on the social media icon that you prefer, to ensure that you stay informed on events and helpful information.  

Rich Walker
City of Parkland, Florida

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