Posted September 14, 2012 | comments 2 Comments

Letter to the Editor: Miscommunication is an issue in Strasburg


Here is an email I sent to the Strasburg Council in regard to their treatment of me at the Sept.5 work session:

"...On the agenda it sounded like there was going to be discussion of where the dog park might go, but in reality it was a discussion to get council's stamp of approval on a location that had been decided.

"I felt chided by council and town staff with the implied accusation that perhaps if I had been to other committee meetings about this I would have been better informed. Well, I'm here to tell you that I had no idea that the dog park was planning to be placed at the tennis courts... All I ever heard was the possibility of a dog park, and the one idea I had heard of was down near the river somewhere off the walking path...I never cared whether or not a dog park came to Strasburg, but I do care if it's surrounding the tennis courts. So to chide me as not being involved is insulting and untrue, especially when this work session was supposed to be a discussion of where the dog park might go, not "here is where we're going to put it and there are no arguments against it." Council seems to only get the parties involved that are pro anything when making decisions, and I for one am sick of it.

I learned of this in my water bill. I got in touch with the chair person of the rec committee and gave her some thoughts, and showed up to the work session. I'm trying to do what a good citizen is supposed to, but it is very hard when citizens only find out things right before they are decided upon.

I am voicing my concern to you AGAIN about lack of citizen input... When I do speak up it is not to put a spanner in the works... I speak when I find out about things. Again this isn't about the dog park... this is about council mis-communicating with people."

Anyone else feel this way?

Kim Bishop, Strasburg

2 Comments | Leave a comment

    My family roots go back to Jamestown 400 years ago, but I followed our son back to Virginia. All of my grandchildren were born in Virginia.

    With that introduction, my perception of the Shenandoah Valey is that it is insular, with cliques of families dominating all social life. Outsiders are automatically rejected from all local decisions.

    Wherever there is money to be made here in the valley, the "sacred cow" principle holds, regardless of its impact on those not part of any insider group.

    In many ways it reminds others of what they might expect if they visited one of those West Virginia "hollows".

    To survive, local newspapers "go along to get along". Thus, they become "shopper" media, not too different from announcements tacked on public bulletin boards.

    In an ironic way, then, it is sort of fun to read comments like yours.

    How about no communication? When the council sets it's mind for something and the citizens reject it, the council will talk it to death or either committee it to death until the citizens give up. A good example was the historic area last year, and now the bumpouts on the main street project this year.
    I have gotten so disgusted with the town meetings, I seldom go to them anymore.
    Keep up the good work Kim, even though you are talking to deaf ears.

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