Some issues evoke public passion, make people respond

Posted on Monday, July 7, 2014 at 9:17 am

Normally, I think the public is apathetic about the events in their lives when it comes to government at the local level. There is usually no one who attends the meeting to see what decisions will affect their daily lives and their pocketbooks. Most react only when decisions have a bad effect on daily lives.

However, an issue will ignite public reaction from time to time and that was evident at last week’s Winfield city board meeting. I’ve seen the public come out on a lot of local issues and this one was full of acrimony and discord.

Citizens of that city feel that some members of the board are using deceitful means in regards to the future of the current city clerk. This issue was scheduled for discussion at the next regular board meeting on July 14. The citizens just wanted to know what was reason for pushing this up a couple weeks. What was different for me this time was the public support by other city employees, including the police department, for retaining this individual. In virtually every previous time, the employees may attend the meeting but usually refrain from offering comments to a ‘body’ which has the discretion of ‘hiring and firing’ at-will employees. Let’s face it, the employees can be terminated at any time for ‘just’ causes.

The July 14 meeting should prove interesting as the aldermen will be facing critical responses from citizens for their recent need to raise water rates. The meeting will be held in the firemen’s hall which is located in the center next to the Country Market.

In other news, even a ‘hard-to-sell’ sport of soccer in this country got a well deserved boost with the recent showing of the United States team. Although they were eliminated in the ‘shoot out’ round by a talented Belgium team, they represented the country well. Tim Howard will no doubt be remembered for his excellent effort in the nets for USA. He was forced to make double digit saves and the game went into overtime. Some athletes seem to rise to the occasion when the international spotlight is placed. Remember this winter and the shootout goals by the Blues’ T.J. Oshie. If he was in a larger market, we would see more of him than in an advertisement for Enterprise.

I am getting more and more concerned that the events in the Middle East are becoming a ‘powder keg’ just waiting to explode. The group ISIS continues it’s march toward Baghddad having gained control of key roads leading from there to the Syrian border. Syrian unrest continues and now Israel is responding with attacks on areas populated by the terrorist group Hamas. This is in reaction to the deaths of three Israeli teenagers abducted two weeks ago. People are asking and waiting to see what the United States will do in response. One of those teenagers held dual Israeli and American citizenship.

The weather here has cooled down but throughout the world, we are holding our breath for some semblance of normalcy.

By Bob Simmons

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