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By Jesse Utz 

Consolidation makes hard work but good sense

Jess Shut Up


That dirty word is in the news again: consolidation. But this time it is being brought up in city halls.

First off, I will stand up and give a standing ovation to those members of government who are finally voicing smart ideas in a forum that can actually get something done about it. Evoking the conversation is the first step. Yes, there will be those old dusty voices coming off the shelves again to give their same old opinions. The same voices that spoke against consolidation of the schools years ago. Voices that were so embedded in a school rivalry that they were blinded to the financial improvements and bettering of education.

Some of those same voices have spoken against change of any kind for generations. But it is time to put those voices to bed. A new generation that is tired of tiptoeing over the boundaries on a map. A generation that wants to be a community. A united community that can come together as one to vote together on issues that affect us all.

One police force, one fire department, one governing body that shares resources where they are best needed in an entire community. Yes, there will be growing pains. Yes, some will want to keep their power. Yes, there are big issues to be worked out. But we are not beyond looking ahead and putting in some tedious work to get there.

The interesting part of all this is that, no matter how hard our elected officials work toward this monstrous but glorious goal, we will have a say in this. It will have to come down to a vote eventually, and we will get our say. There will be open forums along the way, more than likely petitions will go around, people will write letters, and they will show up at city hall. But no matter what, we must not let this die, just because it is hard to see around all the unknowns.

You see, just like in the school system where they are trying to make a positive change of culture, we must also change our opinion of our whole area, embrace each other, and accept some change. We get comfortable with things being the way they are and we just dwell there in the muck. But not all hope is gone. We can make this place special, sometimes not overnight; but if we stay positive and keep striving for greatness, we can slowly achieve it.

So, I support the mayors and councils for looking deeper into this well that some think is dried up. I, for one, and many others think that there is golden nectar down there if we are willing to put in the work to get it. The only question is: are you?

Yes, there are a lot of unknowns on this subject of consolidation, but if we make it to the end result, a lot more opportunities will be open up for everybody — the whole community. A united community. The time is absolutely right now to explore these options and start working together instead of against each other.

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