Editorial: Community engagement is the key to progress
As much as the staff of the Chronicle enjoy serving the people of Charles City and New Kent County, the reality is that we cannot make every event in the community. That is why I encourage people to become knowledgeable through personal interactions in addition to reading our newspaper.
Over the last month, there have been several events that have spawned talk in both New Kent and Charles City. Both jurisdictions are currently dealing with their own political races, garnering comments on social media and a plethora of “Letters to the Editor” sent to the newspaper. In New Kent, the highs of the county include the opening of Pine Fork Park to the lows of a gas leak at Patriot’s Landing in Bottoms Bridge. In Charles City, the Dollar General opening marks a significant milestone for the jurisdiction, while also dealing with the adversity and concerns of the public about the arrival of two natural gas plants.
Just like many campaigns for elected positions say, this is your community and you should get involved in it. Knowing what’s going on and not waiting for what the Chronicle publishes is a good start. The Chronicle serves as a connector for those who cannot attend those meetings, events, or games. However, we encourage the public to make a difference.
There will always be the positive news and not-so-positive news, and those viewpoints come from many sources. Monday night’s town hall meeting in Charles City serves as an example of citizens getting involved. Some citizens want the power plants to come to the county because it will provide needed revenue and keep the tax rate low on citizens. Meanwhile, other citizens questioned the health concerns and impact on the aquifer and property values.
Community involvement is what drives the news. When interacting with the public, I tend to get comments on how people are liking my editorials because its my opinion and I use common sense. I thank those people, but I know some things that I say don’t resonate with others. I am fine with that because we all have opinions, and I am respectful of others.
Please continue to support the Chronicle as we continue to work hard around the clock to get you the best possible news available. But more importantly, continue to support your community, family, and each other. Charles City and New Kent, while they are two different jurisdictions, still have a connection through the people. People are the most powerful entity in our counties, but our ability to bond and understand each other is what will lead to success and the growth in our counties. Get involved and be the reason for the progression of your community.