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Remembering Scottie Ernst

Two years ago I sat on Scottie and Debbie Ernst’s porch – a beautiful porch that I had passed many times driving down Main Street. Scottie served on the Stanford City Council at the time, and was contemplating running for mayor.

“I wanted to know what you think of me running for mayor,” Scottie said. “Do you think it’s a good idea?”

I was surprised, not that he was contemplating running for the seat, but that he valued my opinion enough to ask. I had been covering the city council for a couple years and had gotten to know Scottie well. As a council member he was always eager to learn more, and do more for the people of Stanford.

“I think it’s a great idea,” I told him and Debbie. “If anyone has a chance, it’s you.”

I’ve thought about that chat on the porch a lot this week, and the many times Scottie and I discussed city issues and what could be done. Scottie and I both agreed about giving the public more access to city business and decisions and we were always discussing more ways to reach more people.

There simply was no man better for the job. That’s something everyone came to find out as Scottie dove right into the role of mayor and started getting his hands dirty…literally. He planted, mowed, weed-eated…you name it.

He was a mayor that not only the public trusted, but every department head and employee in the city trusted and admired. Before making decisions, or bringing things to the council, Scottie would survey everyone he encountered.

Scottie was a community man. Even before becoming mayor, he attended every local event and was a part of so many local groups doing good works.

In the last two years, you could rarely travel down Main Street without seeing Scottie out working, whether it was planting flowers around Main Street buildings or pulling weeds – everything he touched became more beautiful.

This loss is one that the entire Stanford community, and beyond, can feel. Scottie left a mark on Stanford that will never be erased. My heart pours out to Debbie and the Ernst family, and I ask that you keep them in your prayers as they – and the rest of us – navigate a world without Scottie. I hope his legacy and the things he did for this community are always fresh in our hearts.