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Morgan Hill
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December 2, 2021

Our Town: Farewell, for now

Welcome to my last column—at least for a while. I started writing this column five years and one month ago. I figure that’s gotta be over 100 columns where I had a chance to highlight the people, businesses, organizations, events and the beautiful place we live that makes up our community.

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That was over 100 opportunities to say something positive and provide insight into what makes Morgan Hill the special place that it is. But I only touched the proverbial tip of the iceberg, as there are so many more stories to be told about our community.

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We have a culture here in town that screams, “We care and do it better” in so many ways. We have a sense of volunteerism that is the envy of communities around us, and we all benefit from those who are selfless. We have leaders in so many organizations, businesses and at city hall who truly can see a future where it gets even better, in a way that will clearly state, “This is OUR Morgan Hill.”

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I have seen so many opportunities taken and capitalized upon. I have seen opportunities missed—but even those had the positive element of an education that couldn’t be gained any other way.

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I believe we are a fortunate city with the inherent benefit of the location and climate, which naturally creates opportunities. But so many of the opportunities I have seen were the result of hard work, and so many of those opportunities were capitalized on with stories that beg to be told. The Amgen Tour of California was one of those opportunities seized with great stories of success.

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Some have tried to cast a poor light on what many of us see as good, and the defense came in the form of the bright light of the community response. There is a voice out there that has the tenor of reason and we should hear more of it.

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Other communities reach out to our organizations and city staff to find out how we do it so they can, too. I’ve seen members of our city staff on panels educating other professionals; some of the lessons they are delivering were the hard-earned ones, that “failure” may bring what others still perceive as some measure of success. We are considered experts on “Complete Streets,” even though the lane reduction tryout on Monterey Road didn’t work here.

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All of the inevitable change is guided in such large part by those just mentioned, and I am confident that while looking forward to the future the heritage of our agricultural based rural community will be honored along with maintaining the culture of a community that cares enough to keep it that way.

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I really hope someone else feels like getting out there and telling all those stories that remain. Those stories should be told; they define us as a community.

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My first column was titled “The Filling in a Slice of American Pie.” I know the slice I found has Morgan Hill in it.

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Thank you for taking the time to read these columns, which have been such a labor of love.

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John McKay is president of the Morgan Hill Downtown Association, a city planning commissioner and co-founder of the Morgan Hill Tourism Alliance. He can be reached at [email protected].

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