The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - OPINION -

At­tend city meet­ings

After years of be­ing ab­sent at City Coun­cil meet­ings, I have de­cided to be­come more in­volved.

I have dis­cov­ered that some meet­ings are short and sweet and yes, you guessed it, a to­tal bore! Oth­ers are ac­tu­ally very in­ter­est­ing. I’m be­gin­ning to find it re­ward­ing to have the in­side in­for­ma­tion on what is go­ing on in this unique lit­tle com­mu­nity that we live in.

There is a lot of thought and work that goes into mak­ing our town func­tion smoothly and suc­cess­fully to be the city in which you want to raise your fam­ily. This is pre­cisely why I re­al­ize that it’s not ben­e­fi­cial to any of us to have a very small se­lect group of cit­i­zens mak­ing all those im­por­tant de­ci­sions that im­pact us all with­out the knowl­edge and in­volve­ment of us, the tax pay­ing cit­i­zens.

This is our town and we should not be find­ing out what is go­ing on in the city gov­ern­ment through the lo­cal gos­sip mill, nor is that the place to com­plain or voice our dis­agree­ment. The place for that is City Hall at the town coun­cil meet­ings.

It may be the only time in a month that you get to visit with cer­tain peo­ple, maybe see some old friends or make some new ones. But you will feel like you re­ally be­long to the com­mu­nity and your opin­ions mat­ter. Best of all, the city of­fi­cials will re­mem­ber that they work for the tax pay­ing cit­i­zens of Pea Ridge, not the other way around.

I know how easy it is to make ex­cuses for not at­tend­ing — “it’s too bor­ing,” “no one cares what I think,” “it doesn’t af­fect me di­rectly,” “I’m too busy,” “the chairs are too un­com­fort­able.” I know, be­cause I have used them all. This was un­til my hus­band fi­nally shamed me into go­ing by say­ing he would “ap­pre­ci­ate a lit­tle support from some­one.”

I re­mem­bered that all those years ago I was the one who en­cour­aged him to run for City Coun­cil and then I sim­ply dusted off my hands, told him to “go get them Tiger,” and went my merry way. Kind of the

same ap­a­thetic at­ti­tude as most peo­ple in the town it seems.

Now I find my­self won­der­ing — where are the lead­ers of our town? Where are the men? Come on guys, we re­ally want to see and hear from you at these meet­ings.

And ladies, the chairs at the new City Hall are amaz­ingly com­fort­able. The only com­plaint I have is that it is so cold I feel like I’m in a meat locker. The rem­edy for that is to sim­ply throw on a jacket or sweater and come along with the guys and en­joy the meet­ing and the so­cial­iz­ing af­ter­wards. SUE COTTINGHAM Pea Ridge, Ark.

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