Archived Story

City residents must have an active voice

Published 12:25pm Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ironton residents should speak now or … be faced with a variety of fundamental changes within the city.

The Ironton City Council is currently considering several laws that could have a significant impact on the city right now, its residents and even the community’s future. Most have only had first or second reading, meaning that there is still ample opportunity for citizens to let their voices be heard by attending a council meeting, making a public statement through a letter to the editor or contacting a councilman or councilwoman. Proposed legislation includes the demolition of Memorial Hall, allowing golf carts to be driven on city streets and, perhaps most important, eliminating term limits for the city’s mayor position.

A recent committee meeting focused on the condition of the city’s parks and could lead to important issues for citizens including renewing the city’s recreation levy.

City council meetings are often poorly attended — or not attended at all — and elected officials often translate this is an endorsement for the actions proposed. We simply do not think that is always the case.

Ironton residents need to stand up and allow their voices to be heard. The next opportunity will be at 6 p.m. July 25 in the council chambers.

The alternative is sitting on the sidelines until it is too late and being somewhat stuck with changes to which many citizens may not agree.

  • swampcreature

    People don’t attend city council meetings because that body truly does not care what the public thinks. Unlike most cities, Ironton’s city council no longer televises its meetings. I am sure in your days working at the Tribune you have watched council blow off one person after another that has raised a valid issue or voiced a legitimate complaint.

    The golf cart law has been drafted to serve a couple of important people in this city. Common sense would keep those things on the golf course. Ironton is NOT a golfing/retirement community. City does not even have a putt-putt course. Mixing golf carts with cars is a dangerous and foolish idea, but it will pass with ease.

    Mayoral issue should be done the hard way; petition circulation. City council will give our mayor the easy way of getting this charter change on the ballot.

    As for Memorial Hall, city officials have neglected the place for two decades. Putting a roof on it when it was still feasible would have saved this historic structure for future generations.

    I am afraid Ironton has been doomed by its poor vision and leadership. The general public lost control of this government when the city charter was adopted in 1980 and an elected mayor replaced a professional city manager.

    When you look at the Tri-State, Ashland with its city manager is doing way better than Portsmouth, Huntington and Ironton with mayors. The development in Ashland is amazing considering the loss of Ashland, Inc.’s corporate HQ. Instead of throwing in the towel, Ashland became a shopping, dining and entertainment mecca rivaling the mall in Barboursville. KDMC went from an obscure hospital to a mega hospital in that time frame.

    What have Ironton’s leaders done in the past two decades to hang their hats on?

    (Report comment)

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