Letter to the editor: Park issue sheds light on communication gap
The Trailside Park process sheds light on an obvious issue we have in Pequot Lakes. We have to find better lines of communication between the council and the citizens.
The council believed it had effectively communicated to the citizens. I believe they are genuine in that belief, yet the reality is completely different. I have asked many co-workers, patients and members at the gym about their knowledge of this and am fully convinced of this truth.
The disconnect is very large and very palpable. In the future, if only 25-40 or maybe even only 100 people are engaged with a process, and if the very businesses that would be most affected by a large decision such as closing part of Patriot Avenue are not entering the discussions, it should raise a flag of concern.
Perhaps that would be the time to stop in, have conversations and get feedback before you go so far down the path that you can then use the argument that it is too late to turn back. This is what has happened here.
Perhaps, looking back, future councils will consider a project that starts out as "only paid for with fundraising," be put to a vote of the citizens before changing it to "taxpayers will fund this." I am confident you wouldn't find an argument against that approach, and avoid debacles like this in the future, creating a much healthier outcome.
Let's find better ways to communicate; I beg future councils to personally ask people affected by your decisions to be involved, and to consider their input as valid. This will lead to a better process and outcome than what we have experienced with removing part of Patriot Avenue and this park issue. (Last of four letters to the editor.)
Dr. Michelle Lelwica,
Owner of Hopkins Health & Wellness and Snap Fitness,