Editorial: Citizens’ disinterest does Niles a disservicePublished 10:32pm Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Niles residents demonstrated this week that speaking up can make things happen at City Hall. We hope they’ll continue to show up — and speak up — at city council meetings, just as they did Tuesday night.
While most meetings are over within 30 minutes with little discussion or public comment, Monday was filled with council member debate and citizen input. There were about 30 people in attendance, which is a major improvement from the usual handful of residents that usually show up.
Several residents were upset that a number of planned projects were about to be eliminated. In order to meet a federal deadline of spending $50,000 in unspent Community Development Block Grant funds, the city was planning to cut a number of projects and launch a shovel-ready sidewalk ramp project.
But after several residents spoke out in support of their projects, the city council agreed to amend its CDBG action plan to include the Cable Street Park Improvement Project, Ferry Street Resource Center building renovation project and Main Street Business Incubator project.
It was encouraging to see the council members listen to the residents they serve and take appropriate action.
We were also happy to see so many residents address the council with their concerns and hope that it is a sign of more to come. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.
This editorial represents the views of the editorial board.