Taking an active role in our community

Published 7:47 pm Sunday, July 29, 2018

Local government is a funny thing in that it impacts everyone, and everyone has an opinion, but the average person in the community will at the same time admit to never having attended a single meeting — or if they did attend a meeting, it was for one issue.

We know that long days at work, school and a growing to do list can make the prospect of listening to elected officials debate utility costs — or whatever the topic de jour is ­— in the evening unappealing. However, the importance of citizen input in decisions at the city and county level can not be overstated.

The opinions of citizens who take the time to attend these meetings carries a special weight for our elected officials because it is the exception and also because it gives the entire city council or county commission the opportunity to ask about things they might not have previously considered. 

One such opportunity presented itself to the LaGrange City Council on Tuesday when the residents of the Mona Lane community requested to speak to the council about a historic marker. The group was led by teens who researched the history of the area and talked to a resident who knew it by the name that now sits above the street sign “Historic Goose Holler.”

This was most likely the first time that these students and neighbors attended a council meeting, but we hope that it won’t be the last. 

We also hope that other citizens will follow the example of these young presenters and — even if it is only one or two a year — attend these public meetings. Talk to council members about important aspects of the community. Recognize problems and work toward solutions. 

The decisions made in these meetings impact everyone in the community, and we encourage you to make a point of attending when possible. 

We generally try to feature some of the upcoming meetings in our community calendar, and they are listed on the websites of the organizations.