Let’s be honest. It’s not too often that we feel bad for our government. They are the scoundrels who make us pay taxes and impose rules that people don’t like. But not too long ago, there was legitimate reason to feel bad for the Wendell Board of Commissioners who were considering a transportation plan that would have lined out major road construction projects several years into the future.
The town had promoted their work and sought input from the public through legal advertisements in the newspaper and by holding public meetings where people could stop by, learn about the plans and offer their own suggestions.
But nobody paid attention until the town was ready to act on the plan. Then property owners showed up in droves to complain. That forced the town to basically scrap the plan and start all over. In response, the town has redoubled its efforts to ask people to participate in the planning process before the plan comes up for final approval. A letter will go out in utility bills this month, and for those residents who don’t get utility bills from the town, there will be a letter sent to them.
To be sure, a plan like this won’t please everyone, but when it comes time to make a decision, commissioners should feel comfortable that they’ve done everything practical to invite public comment.