MTYT: Real civic involvement

By Gary McNair - bio|email

Take a quick glance and you probably think civic involvement is at an all time high.

There are lines of voters at the polls taking advantage of early voting.  We've recently covered city council meetings in places like Lake Waccamaw where increases in water rates are opening the floodgates for people to speak up and have their voices heard.

But not so fast.  I'm not so sure everyone is engaged in the process.

We did a story recently about how the City of Wilmington is hosting budget workshops to educate citizens about how leaders are spending our money.  They're reaching out to taxpayers to explain line by line how this is done.  And guess what?  One person showed up.  Just one.

When it comes to elections – people like to say you can't complain unless you vote.

I think the same should apply for these opportunities.  Unless you make an effort to learn about the challenges involved with managing the budget, you shouldn't have a right to complain about the expenditures later.

I applaud the efforts of the city leaders to make this information available, but so far our response has been deplorable.  There are more chances this month to get "educated" on the city budget.  It would do us all some good to go out and spend some time learning about how they are spending our money.  That would be real civic involvement.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

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