You have four years. Use it wisely.
Jump in headfirst and learn to swim.
If you do it right, you will feel an almost immediate weight on your shoulders that comes with the pressure of caring for millions of dollars, thousands of citizens, hundreds of miles of roads and sidewalks, a hundred plus employees and the hopes and dreams of everyone in this city. Swim anyway.
Handle these things with grace and gratitude even though it’s hard to breathe sometimes because half of the people that showed up to vote believed in you yet all the while knowing no matter how good you may do, you may still be asked to walk away from everything you’ve achieved in four short years.
Learn to lean on the ones that have been around the longest. They will be the glue that holds the City together long after I am gone and long after you are gone. They have proven they can work with anyone on any side of the political aisle and provide much-needed experience and wisdom. The ability to do that is rare. Some will let you lean on them only while the cameras are rolling and their agendas are advancing because of it. Lean on them anyway.
Advocate for all the citizens in our city. Every decision you make, every program you support, will affect Peru’s citizens either positively or negatively, usually both at the same time. These decisions will temporarily make some people happy and permanently make more people mad. Advocate anyway.
Find training wherever possible and go!
Groups like Aim and ILMCT are the closest thing you will find to City Council, Mayor or Clerk-Treasurer school. People will tell you that you are wasting tax dollars to go. As soon as you start to get things figured out, they will change, I guarantee it! Go anyway!
Remind yourself when you are feeling discouraged that there is someone, somewhere, already planning on how to take your job. Maybe not because you did a bad job but because politics is stronger than anything you will ever do.
A lot of people will want to see you fail. I am not one of those people.
You will make mistakes. You will live through them.
You have four years. Get going.