Next week we will be deciding which candidates best share our values and ideas for the future of our state and our country. However, many decisions that affect us are made by local government. In the past I have not paid much attention to local government. I just assumed our local leaders weren’t handling issues that would have much impact on my daily life.
Early this year, I found out through word of mouth about a solar company that wanted to come to my community in Goodland Township and cover a huge area of the township with solar panels. Although the Goodland Township Planning Commission was making the decision about the solar project, I started attending both the Goodland Township Board meetings as well as the Goodland Township Planning Commission meetings to see what else was going on.
I became very concerned about how the Goodland Township Board was handling matters in the township. The Board said they were glad to see people attending the meetings as in the past very few people attended. However, whenever people would stand up and speak during public time, the Board did not seem interested in anything that was said. The comments made by the public were generally ignored and often the people speaking were treated disrespectfully by one member of the Board.
The Board has spent meeting after meeting discussing a new sign and properties that are a danger to the public but it seems they just kick the can down the road each meeting. It makes me sad to see these officials seem to have lost their way. Perhaps they simply have served in these positions too long. They seem to be more concerned about their own agenda than in thinking about what the residents may want. An example is a recent meeting where the Board was again discussing spending money on a new sign. One of the residents suggested they use the funds for the roads. The Board just ignored him and didn’t even respond to the suggestion.
These Board members are not up for reelection this year. However, I encourage all residents of Goodland Township to begin attending these monthly meetings. If more people attend the meetings and give their input and suggestions, perhaps the Board will begin to listen.
The next election will be here before you know it. By attending the monthly meetings, you can decide if these Board members are really serving you when the next election comes. We deserve to have good leaders that will represent the interests of the residents. We deserve leaders that are enthusiastic about this township. We deserve leaders who want to work with the residents. We deserve leaders that remember they are public servants and their job is to serve the residents (the people who gave them their job). The Board meetings are listed on the Goodland Township website. The next Goodland Township Board Meeting is Thursday, November 10th at 7 p.m. Please attend if you can.
— Janet Howard
Goodland Township Resident