The Washington Times-Herald

April 7, 2012

Listening makes all the difference

Washington Times-Herald

WASHINGTON — We are pleasantly surprised at the turnout for the first and second installments of Mayor Joe Wellman’s listening sessions held earlier this week.

We were impressed with the more than 100 folks of all ages who turned out to give input on everything from city trash to saving the theater. The ideas and concerns mentioned were practical and important to consider as we look to move Washington forward as a great place to live and work — even more important as construction workers on the city’s east side brings interstate transportation closer one day at a time.

Undoubtedly cleaning up the city, including removing tall grass and abandoned cars and abandoned properties, should be a top priority.

We believe repurposing the Tokheim location should also be high on the list, as grant monies already help fund a neighborhood stablization program on the west side.

Infrastructure on the eastside with the expected influx of business and industry is important, and saving the theater is one of our personal favorites.

Citizens have one more chance to be heard publicly at a listening session. Next Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to noon, the mayor will have his last session at Council Chambers, 200 Harned Ave.

The city council and mayor have promised to take the combined list garnered from the sessions and create an action plan.We appreciate Mayor Wellman’s straightforward way in seeking public input.

Certainly no one will be able to say he wasn’t willing to listen to ideas.

Despite the county’s medicore report card from this week’s Ball State rankings, we still believe Washington is a great place to live and work.

Could it be better? Sure. Can we work at it together? Absolutely.

And, we can start by telling Mayor Wellman what we believe is important  — and thank him for listening.