Thursday, September 17, 2015

Unwohlgemein

We need a word that means 'simultaneously funny and frustrating' (I bet the German language has one, and it's probaby not the one I just made up). Please take the time to read this post; take it as a PSA, not a rant.

Here are two links to Carthage local events:
http://www.fourstateshomepage.com/…/carthage-homeowners-say…
http://www.carthagepress.com/article/20150916/NEWS/150919134
The first is Carthage residents complaining about a sidewalk being installed in their yards. These citizen's comments were heard and discussed at the last three public works committee meetings. The citizens repeatedly stated 'no one wants sidewalks' and didn't seem to believe city representatives that said the public majority felt otherwise (and backed that up with local and national polls). The second is an article about the city installing bike lanes... check out the comments on FB where the number one (negative) response is "we need more sidewalks"

We Americans?/humans? are more inclined to complain than to celebrate (especially when regarding the actions of our governments). While serving on city council I've learned most governmental actions are complaint driven.
Here's the point. If you have a complaint, take it to your local elected official or department head. Try to express your complaint without emotion, and go into the conversation with two assumptions:
1. the person you're talking to wants to do what's right
2. You may not have all the information, be ready to digest and accept new information

Bringing these things to the attention of your officials is part of adulting: Do it with a smile and an open mind; have a friendly conversation, don't give a lecture. If you get what you want, fantastic! If you don't, and you listen, you'll walk away a more informed citizen (If you never get what you want, run for office). This discourse is critical; It's your civic responsibility, and the only way our system works.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

*BONUS: Most public officials and city staffers don't get huge checks (considering time spent in committee and prep, Carthage city councilmen average <$3/hour... the check is an appreciated thank you, not a 2nd income); they (usually) are not there to get rich or powerful. They want the same thing you do, a better community and future.

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