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Quit your griping
Take time to learn the facts about issues
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People love to complain. The intellectual vacuum of the social media echo chamber has only amplified this trait.

They gripe. When someone has the audacity to disagree with them, they reply with vile disdain. 

Sadly, they most often don’t let facts about whatever they are complaining about get in their way. Heck, they most likely don’t even know the facts and don’t care to learn them.

Frequent targets of this vitriol are local elected leaders and government officials, and the decisions they’ve made. There have been ample examples of this over the years, from ball fields to police chiefs.

Now, we are sitting at a point that could erupt again. The City of Great Bend is seeking voter approval for a trio of sales tax initiatives. These would cover a new Police Station, quality of life improvements and an improved retirement system for first responders. 

These are all pretty weighty issues with long-term ramifications. They are touted as necessary to promote city growth, but will also come with a cost to residents.

To sell its proposals, the city has engaged in an extensive promotional campaign. 

City Administrator Kendal Francis held his most recent Kendal’s Koffee at the current Police Station and much of the discussion centered around the sales tax efforts. There was just a handful of people there.

The city held a town hall question-and-answer session Tuesday night at City Hall to get, in the words of Francis, “accurate information out to the public” and to “dispel any rumors.” Besides city staff, project consultants and one newspaper reporter, there were only three people there.

A second session was held Wednesday morning. There was only one member of the public in attendance.

Francis made the comment that there had been confusion on Facebook with some posters upset the city was raising property taxes. That is not the case, and if those confused individuals would take the time to educate themselves, they would know that.

Duh.

The old adage “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” is so accurate. Many people seem content to live in ignorance and play backseat driver.

This is blatantly obvious when one looks at the divisive state of American politics. One would think that when the issues hit closer to home, as in the sales tax questions, people would be more actively engaged, but apparently not.

The key to a successful free society is an educated populous. Whether talking about candidates or issues, we must take the time to learn and then take the time to vote.

Social media rants don’t count.


Dale Hogg