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Listen, city leaders, to your citizens

Posted: July 5, 2011 3:59 p.m.
Updated: July 6, 2011 5:00 a.m.

I don’t use Facebook, I probably wouldn’t use a YMCA in Camden, and I may be speaking for a small segment of our city and county. But many of us agree that timing is everything on big financial decisions in a community with the economic recession that we have here in Camden and Kershaw County, our state and our nation.

Some of us are being accused of opposing “change” because we don’t support the project at this time. Change can be great motivation for certain ventures, but only when financial hardship isn’t one of the factors. As in all things, a Camden YMCA endeavor should require patience and full understanding of all possible negatives before moving forward. That would include the risk that the city would pay for its failure. Many of us have saved for our future, which is something the younger generation may never be able to do. But we don’t want to see our financial sacrifices wasted by those who don’t understand and value the set-aside-for-the-future method of survival. Some of my concerns are financial stability in completing and maintaining a YMCA or any government-funded community project: Will our taxes increase? How much and how often will our utility rates increase?

We appreciate the public servants who do the work on councils and board. They sought positions and asked the voters to accept them. When voters decided the appropriate person for City Council, they didn’t expect them to turn their backs on the very people who accepted them in those positions of authority. We also don’t want to be considered wrong just because our view is different from those who are promoting the project. It is possible those people have personal benefits at stake. City officials and staff should be willing to hear the majority of citizens on this issue -- even if they don’t agree with the views of their constituents -- whether by Facebook comments or by the old method of verbal communication.

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