Archived Story

Dadeville involvement is good sign

Published 12:21pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012

If you weren’t at the Dadeville City Council meeting last week, you were in the minority.

That might be stretching the truth a little, but I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say Dadeville City Hall was filled to capacity.

People aren’t happy with the way things have been going in Dadeville. The first regular meeting of the new Dadeville City Council and mayor drew a lot of people out to air their complaints.

I was there too. Not to air any complaints – besides not actually living in Dadeville, as a journalist I have striven to remain neutral throughout all the recent controversy. I was there to find out what happened and report it for those who didn’t attend the meeting themselves.

But two complaints drew my attention far more than what anyone said about water rates, Christmas lights, stray dogs or grant money.

The first was “They should have chosen a bigger venue for this meeting” – a nod to the standing room only turnout.

The second was “Can we get some microphones and speakers in here because we can’t hear a word y’all are saying” – also a valid complaint, given that as one of the few people who actually made it into the council’s small conference room, I still couldn’t hear everything that was said.

But the fact of the matter is, since I started going to city council meetings five months ago, I have never seen that kind of turnout.

Actually, aside from the mayor, council members, department heads and the city attorney, the only other person regularly at the meetings … is me.

So call me crazy, but I was thrilled there weren’t enough chairs for everyone.

I was excited that people were asking for microphones.

It got my adrenaline pumping to see so many people piling into city hall to voice their opinions on the government of the city.

One theme of the night was, don’t the citizens get any say? Don’t they get a vote in what the city council does?

And the answer is yes, you do. And you cast your vote at that meeting.

By letting the council know how you feel about the issues, you get to have your say about city government.

And my only wish is that everyone would do it more often.

I wish the city council had to put out bids for a sound system so everyone would be able to hear.

I wish the city council had to start meeting earlier just so they could accommodate all the people who called and got their name on the agenda to speak at the meeting.

I wish the city council had to knock out a wall and make the conference room bigger or start meeting in the Dadeville High School auditorium.

When people who care about Dadeville start working together to make the city a better place – that’s when we start to see results.

When we start an open discussion about the problems Dadeville is facing – that’s when we start to see solutions.

So I hope that city council meeting has marked the beginning of a new mindset for everyone in Dadeville – one that is through grumbling about what’s wrong and is instead ready to shout from the rooftops and be dynamically involved, in every way possible, in helping this city reach its full potential.

Let’s do this, Dadeville. Whether you are for or against former mayor Mike Ingram, whether you are for or against Mayor Joe Smith, let’s band together, because we’re all for Dadeville.

See you at the next city council meeting.

James is staff writer for The Outlook.