2013.08.28 Rebecca Berger: Councilor responds to criticism

I guess you could say I am a long time reader, first time writer. I knew that had to change when I read a recent letter to the editor. The letter stated there was a “lack of management of city money.” The writer compared Morenci to Lyons, Ohio. She asked why a city that small could do brush pick-up when Morenci could not. It is not that Morenci cannot pick up brush; we all know they can and have. However, when the city faced a 15 percent reduction in funds, services had to be cut somewhere. If your household income was abruptly cut by 15 percent, you too would have to make tough choices.

To date no citizen has told me they would prefer their taxes be increased to cover this and other services they previously enjoyed. Nor has anyone stated to me that they would prefer brush pickup over a full time police force and excellent library, both of which Morenci enjoys. 

To state that “there is no industry in the city” is both inaccurate and insulting to the many business owners working and employing citizens in this city. You are correct: Morenci would be considered a bedroom community just as Lyons is, as are most small town American towns.  

When asked “…why would anyone want to move there,” I guess you would have to ask the many people that call Morenci home. Personally, I moved here 14 years ago because Morenci did and still does have many things the small town east of Morenci where I grew up did not. I believe we have great schools, wonderful businesses, an excellent library, DPW, fire department and police department, and it is a great place to call home. 

I too would be sad if a senior needed to hire someone to care for their brush. But if there is one more thing that makes me want to live in Morenci it is the friendly neighbors and community. I have witnessed and experienced the kindness of neighbors helping neighbors. 

I encourage everyone to take an active role in their community. I know many citizens miss the services we previously enjoyed, myself included. If you have better answers then please run for office and volunteer your time because in my opinion that is much more value added than putting down City staff, business owners and all the other great people who have chosen to call this city their home. 

– Rebecca Berger

City Councilwoman