Mayor Fuller wrote a column in the last few days concerning a letter to the editor I wrote. I always appreciate honest, open dialogue, so I’m happy to have opened the conversation. I’m glad Mr. Fuller takes his job seriously. All public servants should. As far as the bridge goes, I’m sure he’s right about it’s condition and the safety concerns. I was born here in a hospital, then called Lee County Hospital. I don’t remember a time when that quaint, little, one-lane bridge wasn’t there. However, my nostalgia for the old dam isn’t the point. The article I read stated that one of the residents spoke, and asked why the people living in the immediate area were not notified of the decision first. That was the impetus for my letter. I think the reason things are handled as they are, is a lack of citizen input and activity in the business of government. I don’t think it matters what level of government it is. It starts at the local level, and nothing seems to be any different, all the way to the top. You don’t need a great deal of knowledge of the nuances between levels of government to know that. I think Mr. Fuller misunderstood what I was saying. I know he has to be a very busy man. When I said “the boss” was seldom around, I wasn’t referring to him. I meant the citizens. We the People. We are after all, “the boss.”
It is our tax money that is being spent, and so it’s our duty to take responsibility for being involved in the decisions that affect us. When the citizenry is uninvolved, then elected officials will make decisions that the folks may not like, but we elected them to do it. For too long we have been derelict in our duty. In our defense, we have families, and we’re constantly busy and on the go. But because we tend to be uninvolved, decisions are made without our input. I’m afraid Mayor Fuller took what I said as an affront, and that was not my intention. He is right when he says that when a city’s government and it’s citizens work together, the community can only benefit and prosper.
The Opelika City Council meetings are the first and third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Auburn meets on the same day at the same time. Every citizen should attend as often as they can, and be informed and involved in the process. I would love to be more involved in the City of Opelika’s decisions. Many of their decisions affect me, even though I’m not a resident of Opelika. I was raised in Opelika, but I now live in the County, so I need to put most of my energies toward being active in county government. It is my duty as a citizen.
“In our land the people rule. The great truth cannot be too often repeated that this nation is exactly what the people make it. It is necessary to realize that our duties are personal.” – Calvin Coolidge
Talitha Eastridge Norris