Do you attend school board meetings?
How about town, city or county council meetings? Do you watch any of those meetings that are live-streamed if you don’t attend? Do you go to Columbia when the Legislature is in session or watch their committee meetings?
No? Why is that?
We suppose a number of reasons apply. For some – and these folks probably are not even reading this right now – it is pure and simple apathy. We hope that group represents the minority of residents.
But for others, it comes down to time. All of us must carve out time for the things we must do, the things we want to do and the things we are compelled to do. We must work, we must do house and yard work. We must and, let’s hope, want to take our kids to extracurricular activities. We want to go to concerts, football games, take vacations and the like. Many want to attend church, while others want to and must attend church committee meetings. We are compelled to any number of tasks that require our time. Our precious and fleeting time.
“There just aren’t enough hours in the day” is more than a cliche. It’s a refrain in most of our adult lives.
If you are someone who regularly attends the school board and other meetings of elected officials you are either one of them or, frankly, you have too much time on your hands. Otherwise, your attendance is likely predicated on a need to attend because one item on an agenda directly affects you, your family or your neighborhood.
Assuming you are not among the group who cares not one iota what your elected and appointed officials are doing, you likely tend to put a degree of trust in them to do what is right. And then you lean on your local media to keep you informed.
If all you are interested in is the sensational news, you’re probably tuning into regional TV stations that swoop down when there’s a major fire, shootings, storm damage and the like. But if it’s the day-to-day full serving of news about where you live, work, play and attend church, you’re turning to your community’s weekly and daily newspapers.
And what a bargain you’re getting, by the way.
Think about your time and assign each hour a dollar figure. Whether you realize it or not, you do that to some extent already with what you choose to do. Do you change your car’s oil yourself? Do you clean the interior and exterior of your auto or take it where a team of folks does the job while you wait and, in all likelihood, work remotely. You have decided what is worth your time and what is not.
What comes out of those hour-, two-hour-, three-hour-long meetings of the school board, city council, county council costs you but pennies on the dollar to know when you subscribe to your community newspaper.
So go ahead and take the kids to swim meets, volleyball, soccer, dance. Go and enjoy a dinner out with your spouse, take in a movie while you’re at it. We have you covered on the other important things. That’s our job. That’s how we spend our time so you can make the most of yours.