Read & respond: It's a function of the newspaper 2011.10.19

Written by David Green.

A couple of recent articles in the Observer brought out a reaction among some Fayette readers. Village council members may not have appreciated the response, but as we see it, everything played out the way it should—well, almost.

An article was published about a proposal to change the speed limit on Main and Fayette streets, and that drew a letter to the editor and some opinion expressed at a meeting.

Similarly, an article about a sidewalk repair proposal also brought some members of the public into a council meeting.

In each case, council members received some feedback from residents that helped form their view of the topic. That’s the way it should work: float a proposal—or in this case, discuss someone else’s proposal—and see what the public thinks. 

Perhaps council will pick up a new idea or appreciate hearing another view about a topic. Or if it’s something that no one seems to like, at least council members will have something to help back up their decision.

There’s one way where this process can fall apart, and that’s what happened recently. Sometimes the discussion proceeds merely on rumor rather than on fact. Some complaints about the sidewalk proposal were based totally on hearsay and not on information given in the newspaper. That’s when an angry citizen walks in to complain about something that doesn’t exist.

We’ll continue to cover the discussions of area governing bodies, but unfortunately, we can’t make people read the words.

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