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More citizens should take advantage of unique privilege

More citizens should take advantage of unique privilege

Public Comments

March 12th, 2018 in Opinion Editorial

W

e often hear that elected officials are detached from the public and seldom listen to their constituents.

While that no doubt may be true in some cases, it's likely just as true that many of those constituents never bother to make their feelings known to those we put in power.

Sure, we talk about contacting them, but how often do we really do so? It's a lot easier these days to vent on social media—where you are sure to get a rousing chorus of "attaboys" from those who agree—than actually take action.

Yes, it's annoying to send off a note and get a form letter in return. Or make a phone call and have to deal with some assistant who may or may not pass along the message. We get that.

But that's generally on the federal or state level. We still have a chance, thank goodness, to make our feelings known face-to-face locally.

Tonight, for example. The Texas-side City Council is considering whether to raise the cutoff time for bars and restaurants to serve mixed drinks from the current midnight last call to 2 a.m. like they do on the Arkansas side. The public is invited to comment on the idea at the council's 6 p.m. meeting.

Judging from a recent Friday poll we conducted, there is interest in this proposal and some residents have strong views for or against.

But how many will be at the meeting? How many will make the effort?

It's not just the Texas side and it's not just alcohol sales. A lot of topics come up before the cities' governing bodies. And residents have a chance to air their views to officials and fellow members of the public.

It's a unique privilege that those in many other countries can't imagaine. And something we hope more of our readers consider.

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