Now Is The Time For The Public To Get Off The Sidelines
Quite often, public input meetings are attended by the same few dozen select people.
Those few dozen voices take on outsized importance because they are the only ones speaking. We hope that isn’t the case with four public meetings to be hosted by Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist and his transition team in Deceber. The meetings will focus on the four issues Sundquist and his transition team have identified as the top priorities for 2020: creating a city for the future, strengthening housing initiatives and supporting neighborhoods and tackling financial burdens.
We hope that council members in those areas have received invitations to attend. While many of the issues city residents have should have come up during the campaign, it wouldn’t hurt the mayor-elect to ask council members from the wards to be part of these public sessions as well. Not inviting the council could be seen as a snub and set the administration on a more difficult path before it even takes office.
The public meetings have been scheduled to be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Economic and Business Development Subcommittee will meet Thursday, Dec. 5, at Jefferson Middle School; Housing and Public Safety Subcommittee will meet Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Washington Middle School; Financial Stability Subcommittee will meet Wednesday, Dec. 11, at Persell Middle School; and City Operations and Human Resources Subcommittee will meet Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Jamestown High School.
Much like Mayor Sam Teresi did shortly after winning his first term as mayor, Sundquist is attacking the job with verve and energy. The mayor-elect has made clear that he wants to hear from the public and from the city workforce as he and his team begin forming a plan to address the city’s issues. Give Sundquist credit for making the transition team’s final report available to the public once it is completed.
We hope that attendance at the four public meetings encompasses more than the same 20 or 30 people who show up to everything. It would be good to hear from regular citizens about the issues as they see them, because it is entirely possible that the big issues identified by the transition team and the mayor-elect aren’t the issues that resonate the loudest with city residents.
If there are indeed some in Jamestown who feel as if they aren’t well represented by Jamestown’s city government, now is the time for them to get off the sidelines.