Newspaper editorials frequently bemoan the lack of citizen participation in their government and express concern about the future of democracy if more people don't get involved.
This is not one of those editorials.
Monday evening, hundreds of Fort Dodgers showed up at a special meeting of the City Council to register their views about the future of the important crosstown connector project. Held at Iowa Central Community College, the crowd was estimated at 310 people, approaching the capacity of auditorium in the BioScience and Health Sciences Building.
Twenty-eight people spoke in favor of the connector. A petition in support of the project signed by 1,100 local residents was presented.
And that's not all.
Casey Johnson, co-owner of Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota, said he had received pledges of $165,000 to help pay for the crosstown connector. Johnson said numerous Fort Dodgers had stepped forward to support this initiative with commitments ranging from $50 to $5,000.
It's clear that many Fort Dodgers are taking a very active interest in the future of their hometown. That's exciting and inspiring.
Now it's up to the members of the Fort Dodge City Council to listen carefully to the views of their constituents. It is imperative that they take those opinions into account as the decision process regarding the crosstown connector moves forward.
The Messenger congratulates the community on this superb display of civic participation.