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On June 18th’s Board Meeting
The Maywood Trustee meeting was a night of contrasts at once representing both the best, and the most troubling, aspects of local politics.
On the “best” side, there were dozens of highly motivated, involved citizens who want not only to fix their community’s problems, but also make it better. There was also the immediate feedback aspect of local politics lacking in Washington, permitting the Board to hear what their constituents think they should do in real time. Perhaps hearing it is not always pleasant, but accountability is one of the most important parts of our democracy.
The house was almost full. And almost every community member who spoke stated that the Board needs to work together, needs to move past the election and issues from years past in order to serve the Village. Nearly everyone in attendance voiced their agreement. Many with complaints also suggested improvements beyond immediate concerns. Some spoke solely to share their ideas to help improve the community.
On the troubling side, especially just after elections people are polarized by the issues, and are divided because of who won and who did not. People made allusions to scandals involving possible corruption and misuse of Village funds. It was apparent that these alleged scandals combined with concerns that the Trustees lack positive collaboration left many anxious that this new Board will not be able to move past the issues and serve the community.
Some Trustees fear that if no one in the community can forget, then the Board will not be able to move on; however some Trustees are addressing that directly, apparently attempting to build bridges by reaching out to other representatives.
If this post-election level of involvement continues, and the board listens to the citizens it represents to work together, Maywood can overcome its problems and live up to its Congressional designation as a village of eternal light; a village of transparency and accountability as well as collaboration with the community.