A chance to be heard

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 16, 2007

People complain about the traffic in Shelby County all the time. People also complain every time taxes are raised to address a problem. And once a decision is made, people complain that they did not get an opportunity to express their opinion.

Well folks, you had a chance last Monday, and you let it pass you by.

State Sen. Hank Erwin (R-Montevallo) said he wanted proof Shelby County voters would consider funding measures to ease problems with roads across the county. The Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and a group called The Partnership scheduled three public hearings for Monday, May 14 at Chelsea City Hall, Jefferson State Community College/Valleydale Campus and Comer Hall at the University of Montevallo to allow the public to provide that support.

Petitions to show Alabama Legislators that the people want the right to decide their own future and develop a road and highway improvement plan were made available. They called for the Legislature to give people the right to vote on an improvement plan and how to fund it.

According to staff reports a total of about 40 people showed up for all three meetings.

While it appears the chamber has about 2,000 signatures (they hoped to get between 2,000 and 4,000) the lack of turnout for public hearings will not help the cause.

Politicians don&8217;t like to raise taxes or to put taxes on a ballot, if they are not sure of overwhelming public support. It is a shame that the people of Shelby County did not take advantage of this opportunity to voice their concerns or approval. Not only could you have been there to sign your name, numerous legislative and local leaders were actually on hand to hear your point of view.