The right to vote should be taken very seriously.
This past month, residents of Meadows Place failed to take their precious vote seriously when less than 15% of the qualified voters took the time to exercise this right and elected a new alderman with a personal agenda. He was elected by getting a little over 8% of the eligible registered voters!
Meadows Place has over 3,100 registered voters and over 2,600 of them have made a choice not to participate in city elections. No, this was not a national election and Yes, we were voting for school board members, but a city election is where you can have more of a direct voice for defining your city and what it can become. Your City Council makes the hard decisions about how much you pay in taxes, your family’s safety, what your water and sewer services monthly bill will be, the cost of picking up your trash, and even things like building standards for the city and other decisions that affect your daily life.
The apathy of the voters cost the city one of its best, young elected officials, who had given hundreds of hours of his time at no charge to the city to make it a better place. The few that came out to vote on Election Day means that in Meadows Place a candidate with a personal vendetta can get elected because the election went unnoticed by most of those who live there.
Rick Staigle’s challenger was personally mad at the city and wanted revenge. So instead of that person participating in a public debate, he didn’t show up to let people know what he could do for the city. He formed a small group of aging residents and convinced them that they needed to throw a council member out of office. Mind you, Mr. Staigle has saved the city thousands of dollars by donating his engineering services.
Scavens (Senior Citizens Against Virtually Everything New) I call them. They are the ones objecting to a new concept for the city called roundabouts that will help with traffic control instead of using unnecessary stop signs, the ones on Kirkwood. And the irony of all of this is that the money for the work on the roundabouts has been appropriated by both the State and Federal government, so neither of these projects will cost Meadows Place one more dime, except now we will have to pay for engineering costs.
Shame on you, residents of Meadows Place! We have elected a one issue candidate, who has told everyone he could get to listen to him that he does not want roundabouts on Kirkwood. The street will be re-engineered and improved in about 2 years. Hopefully, the voters wake up and vote him off Council by then. Maybe then he will understand that he was elected to represent all the residents of Meadows Place, not just a select group.
This letter is an indictment of the citizens of Meadows Place, not the winner. Meadows Place is working hard on new ideas and advertising to attract young professional to our city. Once they hear we are run by the Scavens, they might not come.
Wake up and start paying attention to what is going on in your city. Your Council vote will determine the direction of city and we have just taken a giant step backwards with your lack of response in this last election. We are an aging community and if we don’t attract younger residents, who will take an interest in participating in the city’s government, it will die, just like people do.
Name withheld by request,
A long time concerned Meadows Place resident