November 1, 2012 10:12:21 AM
We were greatly encouraged Monday when the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors agreed with the City of Columbus to address a mutual problem -- the facilities at the Columbus Soccer Complex.
It would have been easy for either of these bodies to remain defensive in the face of public criticism.
The complex, intended to be a shining example of county-city cooperation and a magnet for soccer tournaments, opened in September to considerable fanfare. The $5 million, 70-acre facility had the potential to be the envy of the state.
But after the first few events, a couple of flaws became obvious.
The parking turned out to be inadequate and poorly distributed. The area of the complex certain to draw the most players and spectators seemed to have the least parking.
Likewise, the limited restroom facilities --consisting of only one small men's and women's room --were a design flaw that's drawn its fair share of criticism.
Credit goes to Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders, whose candid admission that the planners made a mistake was the catalyst for a real effort to resolve the problem.
Monday, the supervisors announced that the county and city will each put up $100,000 to create more restroom facilities and resolve the parking issues by purchasing and preparing a half-acre lot at the north end of the complex, where demand for parking is at its greatest.
The new plans will also open more access points throughout the complex.
Together, these moves should alleviate the problems that have been a blemish on an otherwise jewel of a facility.
Rather than be dismissive, our elected officials listened to their constituents and acted decisively. That's the kind of conduct that inspires the community's faith in its elected leaders.
Leadership is not always about waving the flag and leading the parade. Often, it means stepping up, admitting mistakes and correcting them.
What happened Monday is a good example.