Letter to the Editor: Mayor’s wife disappointed but hopeful

First off—I want to make one thing clear—I am not against a new pool and the fundraising that has occurred. I have grandkids who live in this community and they truly enjoy going to the city park and to the pool. I have donated an amount that I felt was fair and what I can afford.

But, what I used to call the Perkins County Pool Committee has, in my mind, now become the Pool At Any Cost—or PAAC Committee. Interesting how that acronym was evident at the Grant City Council meeting last Tuesday night, July 10. “Pack mentality”.

Total disappointment is what I felt seeing the actions and disrespect for their fellow community members and elected officials. I have been to several council meetings and this was the most disrespectful exhibition that I have seen. 

It truly was brutal: from talking while others were presenting, to verbally abusing the council, to abusing even spouses of the council members. I lost respect for several of those in attendance who could not control their emotions and went on a tirade.

Disappointed—one guest speaker told everyone to shut up while she spoke, but was the same courtesy offered when one of the council members was explaining how a bond issue could possibly work? The gallery did not offer that same courtesy and made it nearly impossible for anyone in attendance to hear what he had to say because of their chatter in the background. 

A valid and viable solution was offered, but did anyone hear it? Sadly, the group was too busy talking amongst themselves to listen.

The council member’s proposal of putting it on the November ballot and letting the citizens of Grant voice their opinion by voting was met with immediate resistance. Voting on a bond issue would allow the people to “speak” with their vote and prove that the city and its people are behind this project. 

Having adequate funding in place before any city funds can be committed to a “luxury item” is critical. Nebraska State law (Statute 17-950) indicates that if any money is to be borrowed/bonded, it must go to a vote of the people if it will not be used for basic infrastructure. (A swimming pool is not basic infrastructure. It is not the same process as funding infrastructure items such as sewer, water and streets.)

Disappointed—no one likes to be attacked or ridiculed—no matter how thick you think your skin is, at some point, an attack must be combated. It is human nature to try to protect yourself from an onslaught.

Disappointed—we have now lost a very valuable city council member and he will be very, very hard to replace. I am tired of the “us” versus “them” mentality, the back stabbing and the half-truths that are going on. It is our civic and moral responsibility to find the truth before spreading the “well I heard from so and so that such and such blah-blah-blah.” 

That is one thing about small towns that I hate and it seems to run rampant in many small communities. I had hoped that it wouldn’t happen in ours.

Hopeful—we (citizens of the community) are better than this!!! We are still one community—and we are walking down the same path of life. We walk on the same sidewalks in this town and this hatred and only seeing things “my way” needs to stop. Quite often we don’t get to choose exactly what path we get to walk, but we can choose to be kind and civil to one another.

Grant is the town we chose to come home to, and where, if you are super lucky, your children come to to raise your grandkids. Most of us moved here because of a job, or starting a business and because of the safe atmosphere and friendly people the community offers. Knowing our children are safe and your neighbor has your back when you need him—not because of the amenities that the city has to offer.

Please turn total disappointment into hope and help re-unite our community. We need to rise above the difference and work together. Stop the “pack mentality.”

Mike has a little saying on his desk and it reads: “If you want to go? fast – go alone. If you want to go far – go together.” 

Come on people, let’s get this thing together and go far! And it begins with listening to and having respect for one another.

Thank you,

-Toni Wyatt, Grant

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