Letters to the Editor 01-21-11



It was great to see so many Avalon residents at this week's borough council meeting. I don't think that I've ever seen the room as full as it was. It would be so nice to see some of those faces next month. I would also like to say that our council members and borough employees that were present should be commended for how well they handled themselves. I don't know when the last time was that you had to sit and listen to a roomful of people tell you about all the things you do wrong, but I can tell you I don't think I could have done it with the grace that they did.

People are very quick to remind council members that they're elected to represent the people. Obviously that's a true statement. They are not, however, elected to be perfect or to know all of the right answers. I don't think they get training manuals or step-by-step instructions to follow. They have to take what they have to work with and do the best that they can.

I think it's unfair to expect them to "represent" you if they don't know who you are. I've been going to as many council meetings as I can for the last couple of years and I can attest to the fact that it is typically the same five or six people that show up. Avalon residents need to become more involved. Get to know our council members. Talk with them before and after the meetings. Find out firsthand what issues are on the table.

Council members give a lot of their time to the borough. It's not just one meeting a month. They also attend monthly committee meetings (finance, parks, safety, streets, quality of life). All of these meetings are open to the public and they really do want [people] to attend.

I started going to the Quality of Life Committee meetings a year and a half ago. We've accomplished some good things since then but we are constantly hoping to have more community members join us. If [people] have an interest or background in finance, go to the finance meetings. If [people] have a concern or, better yet, an idea about public safety, show up at the safety meeting. If [people] want to be involved in finding ways to enhance the community's image and improve the quality of life for all residents, businesses and property owners in the borough, come to the QOL meetings.

I think that Avalon is fortunate to have really good people on borough council who are dedicated to the borough. But they can't do it alone. Electing them to council doesn't mean we don't all share a responsibility for what happens in our community. They need the community’s support, knowledge, input and suggestions to help them do the best job possible. And yes, because they're not perfect, sometimes they do need to have their decisions questioned. But don't we all?

Mary Marous

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