‘Every cloud has a silver lining’
Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 23:04
In spite of the result, I am proud of my campaign and appreciative of the voters who took time to cast their ballots for me. Seven hundred ninety five Morgantown residents made the conscientious decision to vote for a 24-year-old graduate student, and I am grateful for each and every vote that I received.
Although I grew up in New York City, I consider Morgantown to be my home. I moved to West Virginia in 2005 to attend West Virginia University and never looked back. Often times, people will ask me why I chose Morgantown, and I tell them it's because of the people.
When I first arrived in Morgantown to tour the campus, people used words like please and thank you, and strangers held doors open for me. Coming from the Big Apple, it was a refreshing change of pace and it made me realize that Morgantown would be the perfect fit for me.
In New York City, I was a small fish in a big pond, but over the last six years, I have come to learn that in Morgantown, I am a big fish in a small pond.
Over the last year as SGA Liaison to City Council, I helped to organize the inaugural State of the Student Body Address, launch the Community Relations Team, host a "Meet the Candidates Night" and most importantly, worked to improve the relationship between the residents of the Morgantown community and the students at West Virginia University.
But none of this would be possible without the commitment from City Council members like Bill Byrne, Don Spencer, Marti Shamberger and Jenny Selin, as well as the commitment from the Student Government Association administration of Chris Lewallen and Ron Cheng.
The reason why we, as a team, have been so successful in bridging the gap has been due in large part to strong commitment, incredible organization and unparalleled passion for improving the quality of life for all Morgantown residents. We as a community have made tremendous progress over the last year, and I am eternally gratified for all that has been accomplished.
Now that the City Council election is behind us, we, as a community, must continue in the right direction. Members from the Student Body need to be vocal about what they want and expect from City Council, and at the same time, learn to respect the Morgantown community and the residents who live in the neighborhoods.
Through the course of my campaign for City Council, I have learned one very important point, every citizen has a unique vision for the City of Morgantown and every citizen has a voice waiting to be heard.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends and family for their support over the last three months and encourage all interested young persons to get involved in public service and give back to their communities.
My name is Nelson France, and I was the first WVU student to run for Morgantown City Council.