Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kuna residents need to do a better job of making their voices heard

A reader was in my office the other day when City Council member Rich Cardoza happened to stop by. After a few minutes of jawboning, the reader kind of let Cardoza have it over the $22 business license fee being proposed by the city. It was clear that the reader was a bit upset over the prospect of having to pay $22 a year just because he happened to own a business and lived in the city of Kuna.
The merits of the proposal aside for just a minute, here’s what really troubles me: What would have happened if Cardoza hadn’t happened to be strolling by at that moment or hadn’t decided to stop in my office? How would Cardoza have known that this person didn’t like the business license fee idea?
In recent weeks, I have written editorials about the business license fee, the Kuna Chamber taking over Kuna Days, the city’s new taxi ordinance, pressurized irrigation for a national chain, and the city’s police budget, among many other controversial stories. How many letters to the editor have I received about these topics? None. How many people have shown up at City Council meetings to voice their opinions? Slim to none.
Cardoza, too, complained to me that he doesn’t receive nearly enough feedback on these difficult issues. He complains about our “coffeeshop culture” where everyone wants to complain at the coffeeshop — usually with ridiculously false information — rather than actually do something about it.
If you don’t like something — or if you support something — for Pete’s sake, let the City Council know about it. Write a letter to the editor, write a letter to council. Vote in our online poll, at least. Do something. But formulating an opinion, usually based on some false rumor or gossip, at the coffeeshop or at the end of the bar does absolutely nothing.

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