Council Message by Mayor Craig Margolis
Are you a good neighbor? Do you think the art of being neighborly is lost?
What does being a good neighbor in twenty-first century America actually mean?
Montgomery prides itself on being a city of residents and neighbors. Where most of our land mass is single-family homes, your chances of living next to a neighbor are close to one hundred percent.
A good neighbor is friendly and approachable, willing to engage with neighbors in a positive way. A good neighbor is considerate of others’ needs and privacy such as being mindful of noise levels and parking so as not to prevent the use of roadways. A good neighbor respects common spaces and leaves parks and sidewalks in better condition than when they arrived. A good neighbor is responsible and aware of how their actions impact others, including keeping their property well-maintained, picking up after pets, and being mindful of their impact on the local environment.
A good neighbor communicates with others. They can have a non-judgmental conversation about neighborly concerns that may arise. They are open to conversational feedback from others and are willing to make their points of view known to their elected officials and City staff, even from a good perspective.
A good neighbor is willing to assist neighbors in need. A neighbor may have a simple emergency, such as a fallen tree or branches, as we saw several years ago. It can also include a simple wellness check of a single neighbor who might not always have access to a nearby relative. A good neighbor respects other cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles and is open to learning about and accepting others.
Fitting into a small community can take some effort, but it is not easy for some. Yet it is possible with the right approach. Here are some considerations.
- Get involved. Join a local club, organization, or volunteer group, or establish a neighborhood organization.
- Attend community events. Take part in festivals, community meetings, and parades.
- Be friendly, smile, and say hello to your neighbors.
- Offer help. If you see a neighbor struggling with a task, offer to help.
- Support local businesses. Shop at local stores whenever possible and eat at local restaurants. You might create an
opportunity to strike up a conversation with a neighbor.
- Be patient. Building relationships takes time.
The first step to a pleasant and polite neighborhood starts with you! I want to thank our citizens who contribute to our city’s civil and respectful culture. Let us all celebrate the wonderful community we call Montgomery.