My topic this week is engaging your government.
The chairs are mostly empty at the commission meetings with very few people attending the meetings. Why do people need to engage their government? The government is spending your tax dollars from income tax, property tax, gasoline tax, and the list goes on. The elected officials will make the choice for you if you don’t let them know how you would like your tax dollars spent.
The Chesapeake Loft owners decided it was high time to show up at a City Commission meeting to voice their opinions about the Keller Building. Their concerns were presented but things take time to come to fruition especially when you are dealing with the government. The Chesapeake owners need to stay engaged and vigilant to make sure the city progresses swiftly to bring the building down before there are any injuries or damage to property.
So many times, I have heard remarks that the people elected the officials to do a job and the taxpayer must sit back for the next four years and allow them to do what they were elected to do. Any elected official who feels that way should not be an elected official. They should hear from their constituents from time to time throughout their term.
A good example of people engaging themselves in government is the Downtown Association. I consider them lobbyists who lobby for downtown projects. I think the Downtown Association might be a little too engaged. It seems all of the tax dollars are being pumped into the downtown area and other areas of the city are being neglected.
Individual residents should lobby for their causes and stay engaged. The business people are well engaged, but the average person needs to step it up a notch. Some individuals may think they need a group to stand strong, but that is not necessarily so. A group is better, but individuals can be successful through determination and due diligence. The worse that you can do for your government is become a complacent taxpayer.
Until next week, attend a City Commission meeting and maybe even say a few words at the podium. Let the elected officials know how you would like your tax dollars spent. Stay persistent and stay engaged in the process. Pay close attention to what your government is proposing because it is your tax dollars they are spending.