The new year is upon us — I hope this finds you and your family safe and well. This past year has been one like no other as we have grappled with the impacts, adaptations, and uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic. I, like I’m sure many of you are, am ready to move forward, but not without first acknowledging the people who have provided incredible services and the lessons we have been reminded of during this time.

Through the course of the year, all of our municipal staff, from our first responders serving on the front lines of the pandemic, to Community Services providing hybrid child care, to Public Works and Town Hall staff, have continued to meet the community’s infrastructure and town business needs. These employees have been resolute in their duty to serve our residents in the face of these unprecedented times, and I extend my sincerest gratitude to them.

You, our community, have also responded to these challenges in a way that leaves me humbled and thankful for your support. From your understanding when we had to shutter Town Hall at the earliest stages of the pandemic, to your patience when we had a phased reopening, and the outpouring of support you showed our first responders so they feel acknowledged and appreciated for their courageous care; you make Scarborough a special place to live and work.

While it is easy to dwell on all of the challenges and hardships we have endured this past year, in a moment of reflection, I choose to focus on some of the bright spots that have shown through:

The importance of family and our homes. This year showed us new ways to stay connected with loved ones from afar. Zoom calls and home offices will certainly be a memorable part of 2020.

The unsung heroes among us, namely our health care workers, first responders, teachers and grocery store workers. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.

Individual actions (or inaction) affect others. This is a critical reminder that I took away from a tumultuous year.

Scarborough’s wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities. I hope you made the most of our many parks, beaches, and trails. They provide solace in hard times, a way to get fresh air, and a safe place to recreate and remain social outdoors.

These bright spots have been here all along, but 2020 was a reminder of their true value. Perhaps these glimmers of hope pale in comparison to the undertaking we endured in 2020, but I find them helpful as I look forward.  The New Year marks a refreshed outlook and with optimism about what lies ahead. On behalf of the Scarborough family, we wish you and your family a hopeful 2021. Happy New Year and I encourage you to focus on the positivity around us.

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