May 19, 2014 11:09:29 AM
This weekend following another local shooting here in Columbus, I couldn't help but see my trending Facebook timeline filled with outrage at the crime rate here in Columbus. Something that stood out to me in those posts was the always-constant reference to the "Friendly City," or lack there of.
One in particular gained nearly 200 likes within hours of posting read, "Dear Mr. Mayor, Please take down that sign that says 'Columbus The Friendly City.' Our citizens have no self-control and many only know how to solve problems with guns. I pray that the guy that was shot today is OK. In your next council meeting, can you please advise your officers it's time out for throwing up roadblocks to see who has license and insurance, and it's time to find a way to stop the gun violence in our city?
Thanks in advance."
Now the reference to the mayor was made I assume because he is our leader. I think we all would agree our problems as a city are a bit more complex than one individual. The post is only one of many valid references to a growing concern in our community about the state of our local environment and finding solutions to these problems.
As you approach the city from various entry points you see signage proclaiming Columbus as "The Friendly City." However many citizens have and continue to question the level of "friendliness" displayed by local governing bodies, businesses, and law enforcement officials of Columbus.
Be it a meeting of Columbus Municipal School District Board or the City Council, one doesn't have to strain to pick up on unspoken tension in the air amongst leadership.
Friendly is defined as "kind" and "pleasant." When people visit our city one would love nothing more than for our guests to describe their time spent here as a pleasant experience. (And they often do.) How much better if a larger number of Columbus residents felt the same way.
There may not have been a citywide vote to adopt "The Friendly City" motto, but what a great standard for a our leaders to aspire.
By embracing a more genuine and caring manner of relating to each other and the citizens they serve, our leaders in Columbus will catapult our city to new heights.
Better yet, why don't we make that a goal for the entire community.
1. Lynn Spruill: A practice that's got to stop LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Our View: Getting at the root of poverty DISPATCH EDITORIALS
3. Voice of the people: Paul Ackerman LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
4. Michael Gerson: The dystopia next door NATIONAL COLUMNS