It is great to live and grow up in a small town like the ever beautiful Marion. Even living in a small town, there are many things for our citizens to do.

Lately, I have been asked about volunteerism. I would like to thank all the individuals that give the many hours of their time to make sure that we have a great city for our citizens to live, raise their children and for people to visit. There are many ways for you to be involved with Marion.

You can volunteer your time on the Planning and Zoning Committee, you can help shape our community through your decision making. Those decisions directly impact the way our city should look and the type of industry we should have.

There is the Veterans Community Park Committee led by former Marion ISD teacher/coach/superintendent/community member Tom DeKunder. He and his dedicated group of volunteers, which includes the Guadalupe Master Gardeners, work tirelessly making sure the park is always clean, watered and is beautifully landscaped. They meet almost every Monday morning at the gazebo in Veterans Community Park.

The Marion Volunteer Fire Department is always looking for more help. On a personal note, I was a volunteer fireman in my teens in another city. I believe it helped me with my responsibility and leadership skills and led me on my current path. They are an organization that directly helps the community in keeping us safe.

The Marion Lions Club is another way you can volunteer your time. They are a great civic organization that helps the community. They just hosted their annual Marion’s “National Night Out” at the community library. They do an incredible job hosting these events, their yearly fundraisers and working with the other organizations for the betterment of the community.

There are many more worthwhile Marion organizations that do a great job in our community that I will talk about in the coming months. I am sure all of these organizations would like to have you as volunteers to help them achieve their respective goals.

I just had my inaugural “Coffee with the Mayor.” I won’t talk about the number of people that showed up, I am sure it will grow. Since it was my first one I kind of figured that people are going to have to get used to the times that I have them. The idea about having a cup of coffee with the mayor is it’s a time for citizens to come in and voice your concerns and let me know if the direction the city is going is ok or not and what your suggestions would be.

Victor Contreras is the mayor of the city of Marion and writes a monthly column which appears every first Thursday.

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