“In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” –Charles Darwin

Sometimes the things right before our eyes are the hardest to see. There are many things about our community that make us special. One of the most important, and something we should acknowledge more often, is our ability to work together in partnerships. As I talk to my colleagues across the state and nation, many communities do not work together like the people of our community. Public issues can be seen in zero sum terms; if one organization wins then the other by definition loses. Suspicion, old grudges, resource battles, political philosophies and score keeping rule the day and serve as corrosive agents against progress.

In my opinion Derby stands out in our ability to work together. Your school system, your city and county governments, your Recreation Commission, your local non profits, your private businesses and private citizens work together to provide a remarkable level of service to the community. Organizations in Derby have historically worked together with notable goodwill and cooperation. This has resulted in a higher level of service for all the citizens.

Your local governments routinely make use of each other’s facilities, employees, equipment and expertise. Whether it be public facilities, public events and programs, community services or communication, none of these could be delivered as effectively to our citizens without consistent, effective relationships and cooperation. The DRC tracks its formal partnerships and identifies over 50 instances of partnerships with organizations in the community, most commonly with the City of Derby and USD 260. It is a simple fact that we could not deliver as high quality of service to our citizens without these relationships. We will always do our best to return the favor.

As we celebrate our 150th Anniversary, I encourage Derby to remember that the true foundation of our community are those folks in government, in the business community, and in community organizations that are willing to work together for the overall betterment of the Community. We can be greater together than the sum of our parts. In the words of Isaac Newton, if we are to see further, it will be on the shoulders of giants.

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