We want to keep readers informed
I heard a comment last week which I have heard several times in the past.
It has to do with someone wanting a city council, school board or county board, to do a better job of keeping them, the public, informed of what they, the public government body, is doing.
Sometimes it is the council or board themselves commenting about informing the public about something and how to go about it.
Every time I hear that I want to speak up and say, hey, that is what we do. We have reporters attend the public meetings, write up stories about the meetings and let everyone know what their elected officials are doing.
Sure, members of the public could attend each and every meeting, as they have a right to and the meetings legally have to be open to everyone who wants to go. Yes, there are some times the meetings can be closed to the public, but only for very certain reasons.
However, most people don’t go to the meetings unless they have a specific reason.
And, sure, the members of the public could go to the governmental bodies websites and read the board or council meeting minutes.
But most folks don’t do that either.
This is where newspapers come in. We do go to meetings. Lots of them.
Want to know what is going on? Want to stay informed? You can. It takes a little effort, however, to pick up the newspaper and see what is going on in your community.
You do have to read more than just the headline of the story, however. There is a lot of information contained in the stories which we write each week here at the Faribault County Register.
Take last Monday’s Blue Earth City Council meeting, for instance. Yes, the council did spend a lot of time discussing the tennis courts, which are in terrible condition, and need to be totally refurbished or completely rebuilt. When you read the story, you will learn the council is considering building eight new courts at the BEA High School, and perhaps, still have a court or two at Putnam Park, plus a basketball court or other items. It is an ambitious plan but a progressive move on the city’s part.
However, in their two and a half hour meeting the council discussed – and acted on – a wide range of subjects and not just the tennis courts.
I found the bit about a single-track bike trail being created along Leland Parkway interesting. No, I am not an off-road bike rider, but I have hiked a bike trail before.
Just last summer we were hiding out for a few days in a cabin on a lake in Wisconsin. It was a nice getaway.
We walked a regular hiking trail but soon discovered a narrow trail that wound back and forth through acres of woods. It was a great path to walk on.
At the end of the trail was a sign where we learned it was actually a single-track bike path owned, operated and maintained by a group of bike enthusiasts.
But I digress.
Other topics at the Blue Earth City Council meeting you will learn about in our story this week include that the council is interested in purchasing a lot which could possibly be used for a Veterans Memorial Park, and that the council voted to raise the number of dogs allowed in a household from two to three.
But, you need to read to the end of the story in order to find that information.
Each week you will see stories about happenings in Faribault County inside the pages of the Register. There are usually lots and lots of sports stories – except in the summer months. You can find some great feature stories about people you know, and maybe some folks you don’t know. There are several great ones this week – a Colorado snowboarder on page two, a very active senior citizen and a music therapist on page 17.
But, newspapers, going back to the days of my favorite editor, Benjamin Franklin and his paper the Pennsylvania Gazette, have felt it was their main responsibility to keep the public informed about what their government is doing. Ben wrote about the Continental Congress. Daily newspapers today write about the federal and state governments.
Here at the Register, we, and other local community newspapers just like us, are concerned with letting you know what the county board, school boards and city councils are doing and we are committed to covering their meetings and letting everyone know what is going on in the community we all live in.
It is true we are not able to get to every town’s meetings, but we do try our best to let you know what is happening all around Faribault County.
So, thanks once again for reading us each week and wanting to stay informed. That makes our hard work all worthwhile.