Insights from the Mays Community 18th September 2019 We continued our Community Insights tour with a stop in Mays on Tuesday night. The session was well-attended, 23 people and a cat. Opal, a gray and white cat that lives at the Mays Community Academy, represented the feline population with a typical mix of both curiosity and indifference. Brian Blackford from Ball State’s Indiana Communities Institute led the discussion. He asked participants to consider what word or image comes to mind when they think of their community and their county. He invited everyone to mingle and reach out to someone they didn’t know or hadn’t spoken with recently to share their answers. The gym filled with lively discussions. Responses described the community as rural, comfortable, family-oriented, friendly, quiet, stagnant and dying. Participants were also asked to consider what would be a game changer for our community. Respondents brought up positive and negative scenarios including: new industry; additional housing opportunities (both have been echoed throughout these sessions); a community center; high-speed internet access and loss of school or industry. The next question asked everyone to think about things they are glad to have (LIKE), things they care about most (LOVE) and things that could be better (WOULD LIKE TO LOVE). The Mays community liked the way people take care of each other, youth sports, good teachers and the hospital. They loved long-time friends, feeling of safety, schools and the movie theater. They want to like better shopping and dining options, more flowers and more shapely trees. What do YOU like, love and would like to love about our community? We want to hear from you, too. Four more sessions remain: Monday, 9/23, 6:30 pm at Carthage Bever Community Center, North Main Street, Carthage Thursday, 9/26, 6:30 pm at Milroy United Methodist Church, 114 N. Pleasant Street, Milroy Tuesday, 10/29, 2 sessions, times and locations TBD for Rushville The RCCF has an opportunity to apply for a LARGE life-changing grant that would impact our entire community. As Brian noted, “Community engagement when done well never ends.” Thanks to all who have shared their visions, dreams and fears. Everyone’s input is valuable. We hope you’ll make time to share yours.