EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Government cooperation is heartening in Lansing

2013-01-20T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Government cooperation is heartening in LansingBy John Wilson nwitimes.com
January 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

First and foremost, I want to wish you, your family members and friends a very happy new year. May 2013 be joyous and good to you.

Every day we read or hear about some type of bad government in the news media. This is not the first time I have discussed bad government with you and probably will not be the last. I want to take this opportunity to tell you about some good happenings in Lansing.

Several years ago, I was successful in getting administrators and board presidents of our school districts, village, chamber of commerce, library and the park district to meet on a quarterly basis. During these meetings each agency has the opportunity to discuss the happenings in their agency, discuss concerns or problems or to seek out assistance from one of the other agencies.

As I mentioned at the last meeting, our meetings represents a strong picture of good government. All of the agencies present are working together in some form for the good of our taxpayers. As a taxpayer, this is what you want to hear. There may be different governmental bodies in a community, but our funds come from the same pocket. Governments need to work together!

For example, the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce has unfolded a banner campaign that businesses can purchase to promote their business. These banners will be hung on the light poles in the Ridge Road and Torrence Avenue corridors. The banner program received support from the village, park district and public works.

The village has started the process to develop a comprehensive plan that will guide the community for at least the next decade. They have encouraged not only residents to participate, but they have also thrown out the welcome mat to the agencies attending our quarterly meetings.

At our last intergovernmental meeting hosted by School District 215, we were given a tour of the Center for Academics & Technology. What an impressive operation. I was a little embarrassed of being in the community for over 13 years and not that knowledgeable about this gem.

During the tour of this facility, we heard from Superintendent Creg Williams about the amazing attendance and graduation statistics of the district.

These examples are just a few of the good happenings and governmental cooperation in our area. The other agencies not mentioned here but attending our meetings had their own success stories to tell.

The point here to our taxpayers is that for all the bad you hear about government and the negativity about government in general, on the local level your elected officials and administrators are working very hard for you and for the betterment of the community.

Is it all roses? No, I am sure there are some disagreements behind the scenes. But on the public service front, there is a strong thread of cooperation among your government and service boards.

As a resolution for 2013, attend at least one governmental board meeting. You might like what you hear and get hooked to attend more of them.

John Wilson is director of the Lan-Oak Park District. The opinions are the writer's.

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