Letter: Laurinburg needs to listen to residents

To the editor:

I’m taking this time to alert you to a very pressing matter in our city. Not teen pregnancy or violent crimes, but of the deafness that many, myself included, feel is covering our city like a thick wool blanket, smothering the voices of many who desperately want to say their peace and be listened to.

You may not be aware of this because that deafness I speak of sits with this council. It sits with the city manager, it sits with numerous departments of the city that simply proceed daily with a business as usual mindset. Never being in a public office myself, nor being employed by any municipality, I do not know if the problem of this deafness is that of the public, or simply something required of city and community leaders.

I do understand that you all are not on the school board, nor do you sit in the county commissioners seats, as they are both dealing with their own issues. But you do have a public base inside of Laurinburg that’s affected daily by the actions of both groups. Do you have opinions on school proposals? On what the county can do to entertain more jobs? On anything at all?

Everyone seems to be tied up with this new city hall mess, and while that’s an incredibly huge lunacy to even entertain, we do have other issues. When is the last time the council held a community feedback session. I’m not talking about your 30 minutes of open time at council meetings, but a forum in which you would not only allow citizens to speak, for let’s say 5 minutes, but also take questions on topics and issues that we as the people who elected you have? And if you scoff as this idea, please tell me why.

You 5 council members as a whole are unfortunately the representatives that represent our entire city population. Open your ears. Open your minds. Get out and speak to people, solicit the people’s opinions. Believe me, they are more than happy to give it. More than happy to be heard and listened to. Mr. Willis, Mr. Williamson, Mr. Leak, you three along with the city manager spent so much time at the last council meeting watching the clock at the rear of the room while not only citizens were speaking but also while Nancy Walker from the Laurinburg Housing Authority and most noticeable to me while Brenda Gilbert spoke on behalf of Erin Rembert that I find it hard to believe you could have understood anything that was said. Remove the clock. If the time of the meeting is an issue move your meeting to an earlier time, or a Saturday mid-morning session. Again if you scoff at this idea please tell me why.

I’m but single person. You are but a group of five but remember: The people see your actions, we have a voice and a say. But will they see you at the ballot box?

Frank Evans


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