Mayor Rich Walker
Mayor Rich Walker

A Message from Mayor Rich Walker

When I sat with my family and discussed the idea of running for Mayor more than a year ago, one of the things we all agreed upon was, if I became Mayor, I would always keep learning.  Never reach a point at which I felt like I knew enough, but rather always seek to learn more than I now know.  So as I continue as Mayor, one of the many things I have learned is everyone is concerned about those things that affect them in very specific ways.  

As we enter August and children prepare to return to school for what we hope will be a year that fits our definition of ‘normal’ more than last year, parents are concerned about safety.  Will my son have to wear a face mask, will my daughter remember to use hand sanitizer, are the teachers going to take care of my child?  All understandable concerns.  

So, what concerns me?  Well, as a parent, I worry about all the same things you do.  But that concern is tempered because I have seen up close how committed our teachers and principals are to not only teaching our children as effectively as possible but to ensuring their safety by applying all effective safety protocols.  

But as Mayor, I do not have the luxury of just worrying about one thing.  I hear from residents who are concerned about home values. I hear from others concerned about athletic field safety. Some want more services, others worry about the millage rate, and while some want more children’s programs, many want more senior programming.  I worry about all of it.  It all concerns me because I know each of these matters are of concern to some of our residents.  

It may seem like a lot—and if I am being truthful—it is.  But I’m frequently reminded of that conversation with my family.  One of the words that was repeated over and over was ‘service.’  My family loves Parkland.  That is why my wife and I moved here, decided to raise our children here, and why our kids want to stay here.  

So when I had the opportunity to serve the City we love, my family helped me decide that it was the right thing to do.  None of the worrying, none of the concerns have swayed me from that decision.  So if you are considering serving your community—whether in public service, volunteer service, maybe your HOA, maybe helping at church—I would encourage you to do so.  There is nothing quite so rewarding as helping others.    

If you would like to share your thoughts about public service, or any other topic, 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 you prefer so you can follow us to stay informed on events and helpful information.  

Rich Walker
City of Parkland, Florida

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