On behalf of the Mayor and City Commissioners, we wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season. We are grateful to serve each and every one of you every day, and we certainly do not take the opportunities and blessings that you have bestowed upon us for granted. As you celebrate this holiday season, please enjoy the company of those whom you hold in the highest regard; also, please take a moment to think of our men and women serving this great nation overseas as they constantly put themselves in harm's way so that we may enjoy the freedoms and blessings that so many have sacrificed for.
As civil servants, we appreciate your understanding and commitment to make Haines City a great community; but, as the New Year slowly approaches, I ask you to remain engaged and involved because your participation in your local government will have a profound impact on the trajectory of your community both now and in the future. Haines City is unlike any community in Polk County: our diversity is our strength and it will allow us to persevere through the most difficult challenges that any of us could ever imagine. Let us come together as brothers and sisters with the sole intent to do what's in the best interest of our community. For far too long, as a society, we have allowed for our differences to divide us--in Haines City, let us allow our similarities to unite us.
Lastly, I can assure you that the men and women that serve this community do so with professionalism, integrity and character; it is because of their hard work over the past year that we have achieved some of the items that you may have read about in the paper. As City Manager, I am humbled by the team and by the leadership displayed by the elected officials. Having had the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with each and every one of your elected representatives, I can assure you that their passion for and commitment to this community is unmeasurable. I thank them profoundly for their continued guidance and direction as Haines City emerges as one of the premier destinations in the state. In this organization, we possess a common mantra: "teamwork makes the dream work."
As the New Year approaches and as we get ready to celebrate the holiday season, let us please not lose track of its true meaning. It is not about gifts or football; it is about fellowship and love. It is about family, friends and your faith; the blessings continue for you and your family and, more importantly, mankind in general because together we can accomplish so much. Haines City, the opportunity is upon us; what we do with this opportunity will define us. In Benjamin Franklin's words, "Well done is better than well said."
We can't wait until 2015!
Jonathan E. Evans, MPA, ICMA-CM