EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Your voice in government decisions makes a difference

2014-01-05T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Your voice in government decisions makes a differenceBy John Wilson nwitimes.com
January 05, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Now that 2013 is behind us, we must cherish our memories, experiences and accomplishments that were created. With 2014 we have blank pages to create new chapters of experiences and memories. So cheers for 2013, and may your 2014 be filled with joy and excitement.

Over the years, I have written about good and bad government. In those columns I clearly expressed my opinion that each type has one item in common — taxpayers. Good government is open and includes taxpayers in their planning and decision-making process. Bad government is just the opposite, where officials rarely include taxpayers in the planning and decision making process.

You might consider that a harsh comment. With all issues it’s a two-way street. If elected officials know their taxpayers are apathetic, I truly believe they will take advantage of the situation and will do as they please without the involvement of the taxpayers.

At the Lan-Oak Park District, the expectation of the Park Board and staff is to keep our taxpayers informed. In 2014, this mindset is even more important to the park district than in any other year.

In 2014, we are embarking on a development of a new comprehensive plan for the park district with the financial and manpower assistance from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

In today’s challenging economic and fiscal times, many governmental agencies have difficulty allocating enough resources to plan for their futures as proactively as they would like to. CMAP is helping to fill this gap by making staff resources and grants available for community-based projects through the Go to 2040 Local Technical Assistance program. Lan-Oak Park District is a 2012 beneficiary of this program.

Now we need the help of our taxpayers in Lansing by giving your thoughts and opinions about the future of the park district. Your input will truly assist the Park Board with the planning and decision making process for the next 12 to 15 years. Your input will be confidential. All information provided will be viewed and analyzed only by the CMAP Staff.

How can you help? It’s easy. Between now and Jan. 12 go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/lanoak2013 and fill out the survey developed by the CMAP staff. Your 15-20 minute contribution of time will be a huge investment toward the planning of parks, facilities and the direction for the park district for the next 10 plus years.

For those who do not have access to a computer, call me at (708) 474-5020 and a survey will be mailed to you.

You’re invited to have a say in the future of a local government entity. You have a choice — you can be involved by participating and knowing you were a part of shaping the future of the park district, or you can sit back and do nothing except complain that you have no input in the affairs of one of your local governments.

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

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