LETTER: Proud of Hamilton community, legislators

LETTER: Proud of Hamilton community, legislators

To the Editor:

It is a brighter day today because Tuesday, Sept. 18, we saw the results of citizen involvement in local Hamilton government affairs. When the cause is right, when the community embraces the vision and when there is passion and commitment, representative government thrives.

The village board addressed the proposal for a digital sign on the village green. From the start of the conversation, the issue of trustee accountability to residents was evident. When governing officials appreciate that they are there to serve constituents, taxpayers and voters, their decisions reflect the will of the people.

When the trustees heard the results of the village-sponsored opinion survey then coupled that information with the numerous replies in Next Door Hamilton and conversations that occurred through encounters between trustees and residents on the street, it became clear that there was consensus not to advance a digital sign on the green.

One board member commented that when she was approached on the street, 20 of 25 people told her they opposed the proposal. One long-serving trustee said a sign on the green would be a departure from the tradition of respecting the green’s integrity, that the location raised safety concerns and that the sign would add visual clutter. All agreed that further study and discussion was needed.

The outcome was solidified when the mayor said the proposal was not ready to proceed because there was too much uncertainty and that it was not going in the right direction at this time.

So Hamiltonians, you expressed yourselves powerfully and passionately. You made it clear that you would hold the board accountable for this decision. You reinforced the role of the taxpayer, the resident and a long-standing tradition of citizen involvement in local government. To the credit of the board, they responded appropriately and accepted your counsel.

Be proud that we live in a community where, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, there exists “a government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Sam Cooper, Hamilton

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