United we stand, divided we fail

Recent city public hearings have left many scratching their heads.

Some left disheartened after hearing the word “no.”

Some left frustrated saying words like “should,” “would” and “could.”

And some in the following days took heat for their delivery.

But the wins from those Community Development Block Grant hearings and the opportunities created also deserve their time in the spotlight.

So think of this as a post-game film review where we as a community full of stakeholders — potential teammates with varied skills and valuable roles — can set aside the emotional reactions to a field riddled with divots and together build our game plan for the coming days.

At most government meetings I attend, there may be one or two community members in the audience.

For many meetings, I am the only non-government official present.

But Monday, 37 Allstars were motivated to attend the CDBG final public meeting.

In that crowd of 37 was the combination of lived experience to be reckoned with if strategically marshaled.

There were lawyers, process engineers, small business owners, educators, farmers, parents, civic and service organization members, coaches and veterans all practiced in their positions on the field and all who take pride in the skills they bring.

And even through the fog of denials for project ineligibility, breadth of scope or deflection of responsibility, 18 concrete ideas were declared to not only the city development director, but to the four council members present, the head of city operations and to everyone else in the room.

Now is not the time to give up on those ideas.

Now is not the time to wallow that the first play didn’t make it to the endzone.

Hearing each others’ requests helped new special teams form because the individuals in the room were given a chance to see value in each other as potential teammates.

Set aside the feeling of unfairness that some kids get to play on astroturf and we have a patchy mess of grass and divots in the dirt.

We, as a community, already know how to rally amidst high waters.

Let us now hold each other accountable to participate in the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety of the community.

Do we cross our arms, say the process isn’t fair, take the ball and go home?

Or do we see the field for what it is and play the game together?

Janelle Patterson can

be reached at jpatterson



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