Citizens must allow voices to be heardPublished 9:25am Thursday, April 4, 2013
When Ironton businesswoman Yvonne DeKay Sinnott spoke out at a recent Ironton City Council meeting she joined a rare group of individuals who make their voices heard when it comes to what is going on in the city.
Sinnott, owner of Yvonne DeKay School of Dance in downtown Ironton, asked the city council some legitimate questions that she said her and other citizens have been discussing. These include queries about police department staffing and whether or not there were solutions out there that could be implemented to strengthen the force and improve public safety.
Regardless of the specific questions, the most important factor is that she spoke up at all. Very few Ironton citizens and even fewer business owners are willing to get involved in how local government operates or put themselves out there because of fear of reprisal of some sort.
Audience participation at city council meetings is basically nonexistent and many citizens are not informed about what is going on, even when things directly impact them and their pocketbooks.
Hopefully Sinnott will spark a trend and be the first of many citizens who speak out and let their elected officials know how they feel about their performance.
An informed and engaged citizenry is vital to effective government.