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Front Page » March 2, 2004 » Opinion » Dialogue is crucial to us
Published 3,823 days ago

Dialogue is crucial to us


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By KEN LARSON
Sun Advocate publisher

As publisher of a community newspaper I am an expert at attending meetings. That is what I do best and do most often. Last week alone I lost count after 16 meetings. Many of these meetings I attended in the capacity of a reporter and its my job and the other reporters' jobs to cover meetings to help inform and educate the general public.

There are a few meetings that I attend because of my interest in advancing their efforts and bettering the community. This is particularly true with my commitment to increase tourism, help with the Chamber of Commerce, serve on the Kiwanis board of directors, provide input and leadership with the Main Street Project and assist with publicity for Habitat for Humanity.

But some meetings are brainstorming meetings, basically with other community leaders to open up dialogue, take action and make a difference in our county and cities. Over a month's period of time I attend a community education committee, have breakfast with a group, known as the mayor's breakfast, attend a long term planning meeting for the College of Eastern Utah and work on advancing Helper's art community through the Helper Art Festival in August.

But last week I was invited to yet another meeting with community leaders. I have to admit that when I first read the purpose of the meeting and scanned the agenda I thought, "We're already doing this."

I listened for an hour and took notes as each official, many of them elected, went around the room and discussed what they perceived could happen with such a group, known now, as the Carbon County Intergovernmental Council.

I see the benefits and realize how important dialogue is. The purpose of the council is to provide a forum for a better understanding and promote good working relationships with all the agencies in the county. In addition, the group's intention is to brainstorm and negotiate solutions and work together on quality of life issues, in particular, economic development. There were many examples given at the meeting of how dialogue and discussion brought a common solution to an individual agency problem. The concept told me that this could and will succeed if everyone works for the betterment of the county and communities.

A meeting such as this can provide leadership for the greater good of the county and can serve as an over viewing committee to groups and departments within the county. If used correctly, and that being not to promote anyone's particular agenda, it can be a tool to unite and drive our individual efforts.

I am a true believer that its the public's right to know what every agency is doing with tax dollars and this committee will provide dialogue as plans are being considered and projects carried out. Hopefully the days are gone when one particular agency or organization can pass a measure or approve a budget without having adequate community input and discussion.

As was said in the meeting, "We can come together and communicate with other leaders. When one wins, we all win."


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