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Calls for finding common ground and compromise

June 21, 2017
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Letter to the Editor:

I left last Monday's meeting of the Toledo City Council with a heavy heart. The city council members and the mayor are elected from the community because of their honesty, intelligence and character. They are given the task of making decisions on a wide variety of topics keeping in mind what is best for the entire community.

I sat among my friends, neighbors and people I attend church with. As I observe the national and state political news, I am saddened that we seem to have lost our civil society. Citizens don't seem to be able to have an honest conversation and listen to each other. Self-interest seems to be the only concern. That polarized attitude was observed by me at the Toledo City Council meeting on June 12th. Finding common ground and compromise is not a loss but a win for making progress.

Can we all agree that we want what is best for our entire community? If so, the next question is how should we act toward each other?

What actions should we start doing? First, we should all take it upon ourselves to make sure we have the correct information. We all have access to factual information from the City Clerk, the Mayor or council members. Get the facts about an issue not what you read on Facebook. Just because it is repeated often and loudly doesn't make it the truth. I was happy to see the five-year breakdown for the costs of the Community Building and the Reinig Center in the June 14th issue of the Toledo Chronicle. If you don't agree with someone at first, please listen respectfully and have a conversation. Above all support your elected officials and city workers. It takes courage to sit calmly in a meeting, trying to give facts when people think you don't care and aren't willing to listen. Thank them for their service to our community. I believe they are doing their best for us.

What actions should we stop doing? I believe we should all step back and not only think about how an issue will affect me, but what is best for the community. In this situation, there are viable options for the groups being relocated. Change can be uncomfortable. It takes work. We are resilient people and live in a giving community. There are many who are willing to help make this a positive transition.

What actions should we continue doing? We are all citizens and have the responsibility to be involved by attending city council meetings, voting in elections, and even holding a leadership position in our many civic organizations. Continue to voice your concerns and listen to all sides of an issue before making a decision.

I love living in a small town. If we are willing to get involved and work together, we can see the positive impact on the quality of life for everyone.


Denise Fletcher




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