When the KVIS first began we knew that our 1.44 square miles of village had many fine small town qualities like quaint homes, a main business district, a village hall, churches, a park and library, police and fire stations, sidewalks with street lamps. But with all of these benefits there was still a strong yearning for a kind of hometown experience where everyone knows or feels connected in some way to each other. We articulated this small town feeling as a 'Mayberry' way of being. The fictional Mayberry of the Andy Griffiths show seems in many ways to be an indealized form of healthy community living where compassionate acceptance of one another is mingled with a strong desire for everyone to live well and happily. We asked ourselves then and had extended discussion about how we could realize the steps it would take to articulate that kind of Mayberry vision as the modern society we are today. We hypothesized that perhaps the missing Mayberry ingredient was an active and positive sense of community intentionally focused on a singular common goal. For us that common goal encompasses all parts of village life –the goal of community improvement.
By establishing the KVIS and the common goal of Village improvement, a sense of focused purpose was formed in Kenmore; the ability to contribute to this goal is accessible to all regardless of race, age, background, sexual preference, or socio-economic status. This common goal puts us all on the same page and unites us in a desire to help make our community an excellent place to live, enjoy, and do business.
Each person’s definition of what improvement is may differ, but there are some fence post issues most in our community will agree upon from the start as being a part of a successful Kenmore: good schools, well maintained properties and corresponding property values, interesting and profitable businesses, superior services, neighborliness, safety for ourselves and our property. These desires are the building blocks of a successful society, our reason for being an incorporated Village in the first place, and they are how we ultimately define our common improvement goal together. Our continually growing observation and understanding of our strengths and weaknesses as a community has directed our purpose and supported our mission as we strive to help improve Kenmore and work with care to make our community the best place it can be for ourselves now and for those to come.