Time for Monticello leaders to focus on what’s really important

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, 

I think we all get disgusted with what we see going on in government, the waste, the voter abuse; it just seems to never end. Programs once started never have an end date; they keep looking for something more they can do to stay alive, no matter how redundant it may be. Programs for all sorts of things aren’t satisfied until the entire country has been saturated with things which would have been better ended long before. Real thinking about the future of our communities has been turned into a lottery of grant programed ideas that are prepped and planned like a can of soup; you pour them into your community, add seed money and soon you have the same unoriginal thing that a hundred other communities have. 

With the basics that we all need, this is acceptable: bridges, sewers, decent roads and such, and yet there is plenty of cash squandered on candy programs. You put money in with the expectation more money will come from it than is put in. what the end results will be isn’t even a consideration. If you question those decisions you are simply put in a category of someone who never has anything good to say about anything being done. 

I think it is well past the time someone does say enough is enough. 

The responsibility in leadership in this community should be what makes sense, not what new grant program that comes along that promises all kinds of things that may or may not work out in the end for this community. We have to stop and think about what is really needed and find ways to fix that need in ways which will work for us and tailor a plan to make it happen. Doing something because everybody else has or is doing it isn’t a reason for us to necessarily get on the lemming bandwagon headed for a cliff. 

We have declining enrollments in our schools; that is a fact. We have a declining birth rate; that too is a fact. As long as farms are going to consolidate into larger and larger operations, and our cities and towns are in decline as a result, those enrollments are not going to change. 

This isn’t the field of dreams and if you build it they will come! I use this only as an example of what happens when instead of taking care of the buildings we have and keeping the maintenance up on them, we let them fall into disrepair to prove a need. 

Take the Community Building as an example. It was built only a few years after the old high school. Is it falling in? And why not? 

We are smarter than this. As a group, there are many of us who silently watch our community fall apart, spending an inordinate amount of time complaining to each other about what is going on and who is responsible. When it is time to step up and fix things, we say to ourselves “Not me! I don’t need more enemies!” then vote for the same people somehow expecting things to improve? 

I’ve had enough. I don’t know if I can make things better, but I am willing top try. I have filed my paperwork to run in the next Monticello municipal election for the at-large seat. I would appreciate your vote.

Steve Hanken

Monticello, Iowa 


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