The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Letters to the Editor

January 6, 2013

Letters to the Editor 1/6/13



Claire Carpenter, age 14


Citizen participation important

Dear Editor:

During 2013, citizen participation and involvement in their local government’s operation is particularly crucial in relation to maintaining and improving Athens quality of life.

The reason for this is city government is about to undertake a significant project in January which will eventually determine Athens continued development and its future land use policies. This project will determine the best use of our land over the next few years as we grow and expand.  As an initial part of this project, the city will ask for your participation in a survey soon to be announced that when completed will result in a vision for Athens.

This survey will directly support the creation and planned implementation of our future direction and the type of city we want Athens to become.

I watch our citizens become involved and participate in every manner and form of organization, except when it comes to the continuing operations of our city government.  People vote and believe they have done their duty until the next election.  

We vote and then turnover the complete management, administration and operational responsibility of the city to professional politicians and career civil servants and we never look back — a huge mistake. Without continuing citizen involvement, how can they truly understand what the correct path for Athens is to be going forward?  Without adequate citizen input, politicians will make decisions regarding what they believe is correct, (right or wrong).

To prevent this, we must actively participate in our local government’s administration and daily operations. We must have a continuing say regarding the direction and future of Athens, and insure our tax dollars are expended appropriately in support of our requirements and quality of life desires.

Stay involved and participate. We can’t allow the input from politicians, business interest groups, unconnected civic organizations, lobbyists and/or civil servants to be the only ones to provide our direction. Don’t let Athens be governed only by a minority of multiple diverse special interests.

Please believe me when I say what goes around comes around.  If you don’t participate, there is a strong possibility we will end up living in a city with less than what we expect and deserve.

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