Fostering Citizen Involvement
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Strong citizen involvement in community and governance strengthens our municipality. Unfortunately, in recent years,involvement in many areas has waned. This term, controversial issues such as the Cedar Hill Golf Course Clubhouse and a proposal for clay court tennis brought hundreds of citizens to Council meetings. We were presented with a huge opportunity to involve citizens for the long term but we really didn’t do much with it. That’s a mistake we shouldn’t repeat. We should always seek to increase citizen involvement. It won’t always be easy. At times, it may be a bit messy. In the end, however, it will make us better.
There are many ways that we can strengthen citizen involvement including:
In the end, involving citizens has a lot of advantages. Once involved, citizens tend to become less suspicious, and potentially less hostile to municipal government. Also, they become more informed and are likely to inform others. Finally, they are likely to come up with innovative ideas and approaches and that, most certainly, is never a bad thing.