Monday, July 04, 2005

Community Dialogue

In Sunday’s lead editorial in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, the editors say:
Every American city and county needs good government in order to establish and maintain a pleasant quality of life for the vast majority of its people. But government cannot create communities or good citizens. It is up to individuals, and the associations they form, to fashion a sense of community and promote causes that benefit the greater good. In strong cities and counties, governments, communities and citizens take additional steps -- forming partnerships, engaging in dialogue, leading when necessary and following when beneficial.

We couldn’t agree more fully. Thoughtful, well researched dialogue concerning civic well being is the key to a quality lifestyle for all. Sarasota is fortunate to have many excellent institutions that are willing and able to positively contribute to our community.

One of these, SCOPE, has engaged the community in discussions on a number of issues we face. SCOPE's methodology starts with researching the issue, then looks for best practices and tries to find ways to apply this knowledge to our community. SCOPE has been very successful in these endeavors and is a model well worth following.

Save Our Sarasota tries to follow this model. We engage in public discourse, we formulate a position on a topic that we believe Sarasotans have a high degree of concern about, and we try to find better ways to move forward. Along the way, we point out "mistakes" we believe have been made. We do this in an attempt to show the effect of changes that have been allowed with apparently little discussion or community involvement.

As we move into our second year of existence, we would hope that our discussions with civic leaders have been fruitful. We believe Save Our Sarasota has been the spark for some change that is positive. We will continue to fashion a sense of community and promote causes that benefit the greater good.

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