The election may have been the race that has enabled Connellsville Mayor Greg Lincoln to gain his title.

But the recent John Woodruff 5K Run and Walk was the race that helped Lincoln, once again, strengthen such a strong, positive reputation he has created as a leader in his city.

As mayors often do, Mayor Lincoln recently took some heat. But this time, from two Connellsville teens, who questioned why he didn’t participate in a race in Dawson earlier this year. His response was a challenge — the annual Woodruff race where the three agreed that if the teen girls beat him, they would be co-mayors for a day. And if he won, they’d have to speak at a council meeting about how great he is.

From that moment on, the social media good-natured, trash talking was on. When raceday came, the city of Connellsville earned two new co-mayors for a day, but the mayor didn’t walk away empty handed. And neither did the residents of the city of Connellsville.

Our hats are off to Mayor Lincoln, who, from day one, has made it his mission to truly be engaged with the people he represents. It is certainly a lesson to be learned from all elected officials who vow to be there for their constituents.

Whether in times of tragedy, like the flood that devastated so many in 2016 and the days, months and years that followed, to the prompt social media updates in times of outages, severe weather, community happenings and general informational offerings, to the social media posts with birthday wishes and kudos to residents, Lincoln has offered to the people of Connellsville an understanding that they can count on their mayor, in the good times and in the bad.

Elected officials have jobs and responsibilities where they oftentimes need to make tough decisions and many times, those decisions are not always met with 100% agreement among those affected. There is paperwork and policy and meetings and day-to-day headaches. And yes we dare say sometimes there is conflict and arguments and misunderstandings. It all goes along with the job.

But there is something much more important that makes an elected official successful. And that is simply involvement by being a member of the community who isn’t afraid to promptly answer the tough questions with honesty and transparency, but who also doesn’t shy away from the fun to be had there, too.

We truly believe that the neighborhoods and business districts in the city of Connellsville have become stronger in the years governed through the leadership style of Mayor Lincoln. It is our hope that all the elected officials in our local communities engage as well as Lincoln does, and learn from him that sometimes, just participation alone is enough to make everyone a winner.

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