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Turn concepts into construction sites

One of the best things Demopolis has going for it is the collection of city leaders who believe that progress is more important than personal ambition.

Rarely, if ever, do city officials and community leaders engage in public dialogue where they attempt to promote platforms of personal satisfaction. That’s a stark contrast to so many politicians of the day &045;&045; all the way from the federal level to state and local offices.

Tuesday evening’s strategic planning meeting is a good example. The concepts and concerns voiced by officials and residents are not designed to promulgate personal ambition. Rather, those ideas are put forward to make this city a better place in which to live.

While we can ring bells and blow whistles about how well everyone in this city seems to get along, we’d like to take this chance to offer a warning about placid relationships.

Every once in a while, it’s good to raise a concern or a frustration. Every once in a while, it’s good when leaders in a community spat over a concept. Every once in a while, it’s almost vital for city officials to challenge the goals and aspirations of their colleagues.

No, we do not advocate public discord; nothing could be further from the truth. What we do advocate, however, is a sense of urgency.

The strategic planning meeting held Tuesday evening was the off-shoot of a "city leaders" meeting a month ago. Representatives from the community and city government gathered in a meeting room and discussed ways of making the town better over the next three years.

When things go well for a community &045;&045; like they have for ours &045;&045; it’s simple to become complacent. There almost is an urge to become lackadaisical in planning and then carrying out those plans.

For instance, it would be too easy to have held a community planning meeting on Tuesday and then schedule another meeting after that to deliberate what happened at the last meeting. The meetings could go on forever, and we could reap little from the ideas we’ve discussed.

We don’t believe the leaders of our community will allow that to happen. In fact, we know &045;&045; from past experience &045;&045; that city officials have done an excellent job of carrying out plans and building new ones.

Unlike a football team that wins all its games until the postseason and then falls in defeat because of a complacent attitude, we want to win. We encourage our leaders to find a way to the championship game. Take these plans from cardboard signs to construction projects.