Reaching out | September 18, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Perspective - September 18, 2009

Reaching out

Danville Councilman Michael Shimansky, who died Tuesday, will be memorialized for many things. We at the Danville Weekly will remember him for reaching out to others.

He understood from the beginning the importance of a community newspaper because he was a communicator. He always knew to call us when he wanted to get word out to the public about news or an event he wanted to promote.

In 2007, when he was mayor, Mr. Shimansky started his popular Mayor's Coffees at 7:30 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. This was one more way he made himself accessible to the residents of Danville and the area. As each new Mayor takes their turn in the rotation they have continued this practice, which has been instrumental in strengthening the bonds between government and community.

Able to retire young he sought out the ways in which he could be of service to this community and he made that commitment work on levels that many of us never even dream of. The Danville Parks Commission, Town Council, Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority, Contra Costa Transit Authority and San Ramon Valley Disaster Council all felt his presence.

Shimansky reached out in more ways than can be counted. He touched the lives of countless Danville youth through his involvement in sports, coaching and refereeing soccer, working with the Boy Scouts, working on Primo's Run. He played Santa to many each year at the Veterans Hall, keeping the wonder and magic of the holiday alive for many.

There are few of Danville's future generation that have not been impacted in some way by the man Mayor Newell Arnerich describes as "Mr. Danville".

The Danville community owes a debt it can never repay to Mike Shimansky, and its gratitude should extend to this life long servant's family as well. Sue Shimansky, his wife of 42 years, and their children Greg, Lori and Cyndi shared him with thousands of Danville residents every day for over two decades.

If Mike Shimansky's life has any lesson for us, let it be that of reaching out, taking part and being a member of a community in the truest sense of the word.