I write a weekly column for The Outlook. It ends each week with the phrase ‘that’s my outlook.’ The use of that phrase is intentional. I am providing my perspective on a topic—my outlook—and of course I write for The Outlook and call Outlook my home. This is my Outlook, too.
I have lived and worked here for 30 years. We raised our children here. I have volunteered, served on committees, helped organize events, and been involved everywhere I can. I really like this town and I want Outlook to be a strong, vibrant community today and into the future. It’s my Outlook, too.
So many of you feel the same. As residents come into our office to talk about their concerns it is gratifying to see how much people care. They are passionate about their questions and have a sincere desire to see things done that will ensure its viability and growth. However, that has been tempered by concerns over decisions made and directions taken.
What is concerning to me at the newspaper is the reluctance on the part of people to go on the record for fear of personal attack. In a small town the greatest asset we have is the people who live here. We should be encouraged to ask questions since we are all wanting the same thing—the very best for our town. With the exception of two individuals and one couple, all the people who have talked to me want to remain in Outlook. They love this town but they need to know where we are heading.
That is why we asked the questions that have been asked of us. That is our job.
On October 17, 2016 The Outlook hosted a candidates’ forum prior to the civic election. We invited each candidate to participate and sent them the questions that would be posed that night. We didn’t want to blindside the candidates so we gave them opportunity to prepare and give full thought to the questions.
We did the same on March 22, 2019 when we submitted questions to our mayor.
The health of this, and any town, relies on the strength of its people. That includes its elected officials and the ones who elected them. But we need to be able to talk. It is our tax dollars, our infrastructure, our public services, our businesses, and our people that are impacted. In the absence of information, frustration and resentment build far too quickly. We cannot let cynicism dominate our dialogue. There is too much good in the people of this town to let that happen, including those who have served on town council in the past and those who serve currently.
If I were a mail carrier I would be expected to deliver mail. If I were a nurse I would be expected to care for patients. I work at a newspaper. I am expected to ask questions.