The community bonds that unite Ne­wark are unique

Newark Post - - LOCAL NEWS - Polly Sierer Polly Sierer has been mayor of Ne­wark since 2013 and writes a monthly Mayor’s Cor­ner col­umn. Con­tact her at pasierer@com­

In the Aug. 11 is­sue of the Ne­wark Post, Karie Sim­mons, a reporter for the Ne­wark Post, wrote a very mov­ing farewell. I was par­tic­u­larly moved by this state­ment from the ar­ti­cle, “I hope I did you proud and showed you the im­por­tance of community jour­nal­ism, es­pe­cially in a city like Ne­wark.”

Karie spoke di­rectly to the read­ers and the cit­i­zens of Ne­wark. She fo­cused on the fact that we are a COMMUNITY. She saw that we, the cit­i­zens of Ne­wark, are con­nected to this en­tity which we call Ne­wark.

Each of us may con­jure up a spe­cific mean­ing when we say “we live in Ne­wark,” but within each in­di­vid­ual mean­ing is the el­e­ment of con­nect­ed­ness, af­fil­i­a­tion and iden­tity. It is this con­cept of COMMUNITY that in­spires me to work hard as your mayor. Our community and our city gov­ern­ment are con­nected to this en­tity for which we have hopes and dreams. We SEE the Ne­wark we hope for and set goals to work to­ward this ideal.

Be­ing this en­tity of Ne­wark is very dif­fer­ent from geo­graphic closeness which can be at­tained by liv­ing in a de­vel­op­ment. Friends who live in North Wilm­ing­ton are not con­nected to each other as we are in Ne­wark. Friends who live in other nearby re­gions cer­tainly do not have the sense of cen­tral­ity that be­ing a cit­i­zen of Ne­wark pro­vides.

In a few weeks, we will see this un­fold with Ne­wark Community Day on Sun­day, Sept. 17. Peo­ple share their good­ness at Community Day. All kinds of groups tell their neigh­bors about their or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­vite oth­ers to join them.

Each year, this event runs smoothly be­cause of the con­tri­bu­tions of our po­lice depart­ment, our parks and re­cre­ation depart­ment, our pub­lic works depart­ment, many in our city gov­ern­ment, as well as vol­un­teers in our community. Community Day is an­tic­i­pated through­out the community and is a sig­nif­i­cant demon­stra­tion of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the city and the univer­sity. It works be­cause of tra­di­tion, hard work and team­work.

We have sim­i­lar “Ne­wark” events, such as the Taste of Ne­wark, pa­rades, New Night Down­town, Food and Brew, Wine and Dine, the Fourth of July fire­works and the Easter egg hunt to name a few. These events are achieved with co­op­er­a­tion of all city de­part­ments, the Down­town Ne­wark Part­ner­ship and the Univer­sity of Delaware.

The city’s parks and re­cre­ation depart­ment or­ga­nizes and mon­i­tors a full ar­ray of sports ac­tiv­i­ties and a va­ri­ety of classes for a nom­i­nal fee. In ad­di­tion, the city de­vel­ops, in­stalls and main­tains parks and trails that are en­joyed by our cit­i­zens and their friends. These are close to us and beau­ti­ful.

Putting the word Ne­wark on a busi­ness or an event clearly de­lin­eates a spe­cial­ness. It will be nearby; it will have au­then­tic­ity. This in­ter­nal­iz­ing of the ideal of Ne­wark helps us, on city coun­cil, to make de­ci­sions that we hope will in­sure that the city stays vi­brant and sta­ble and lets us plan cre­atively for the fu­ture. We are com­mit­ted to ser­vice ex­cel­lence and we are com­mit­ted to de­ci­sions to keep Ne­wark a strong, vi­brant, fu­ture ori­ented place to en­joy life.

Please share with me, what comes to your mind when you think of your community, your “Ne­wark.”

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