Much has been said and written on this topic in recent weeks. Let me add that I have a great deal of respect for the contributions made in this community by both Mayor Clay Larkin and businessman Bob Templin so it's unfortunate that the two have found themselves at odds over the issue of retaining the soon-to-be abandoned city hall building. It's important to note that at 30-years-old the current city hall is not of historic value.
Also important to note as you become informed about the many twists and turns of the decision that will go before the voters in November is that the public has never been denied the opportunity to voice an opinion on the subject. City council meetings are open. Councilmembers are elected to represent the public and are available to hear opinions when they're out and about and through more official avenues.
Do I believe that the public ie: taxpayers have the right to decide how our tax dollars are spent? Absolutely.
Do I believe that citizens have the right and the responsibility to challenge elected officials when they feel strongly about decisions to be made? Absolutely.
Do I believe that perhaps the time passed to make those challenges in the case of salvaging the current city hall? Yes. It's time for the citizenry look forward, not behind us. This issue has become divisive and distracting to the discussion of other incredibly important issues such as traffic, growth, public safety etc.
We owe Mr. Templin our gratitude for this lesson learned. We need to be involved in issues at the outset. We need to let our Mayor and Council know that we care about the decisions they're elected to make on our behalf and to have our voices heard. It's more effective and a lot less costly, though, if those opinions are heard at the beginning rather than at the 11th hour.
I encourage you to register to vote if you've not already done so, to vote as if your quality of life depended on it, and vow to put the public back into the public comment portion of every city council meeting.
*if you'd like to review past news articles and editorials about this topic, see the comment section of this post.