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EDITORIAL: Your opinion matters

If you don't think your elected officials and community leaders care what you think, think again.

Here in New Richmond, opportunities abound for providing your input to help develop a future direction for the community.

The city is currently conducting a downtown area study to determine what people think about the current main street area and what they think should be done to improve it. A big part of the study is public comments and input.

A kick-off event was held last week and several more similar events are being scheduled over the next few months. Online and paper surveys will also be offered so anyone who wants to participate can have their voices heard.

Public input is also a big part of another community visioning process, called "FutureWalk: Creating Our Community's Path to Tomorrow."

The goal of FutureWalk is to incorporate some of the aspects of successful communities across the nation into the New Richmond area community.

To get to that point, a number of listening sessions and community conversations will be conducted in September through December to talk to area residents and gather their thoughts about what New Richmond's strengths are and what can be done to strengthen the community even more.

So often people complain about decisions made by elected officials and community organizations. They often say that they feel like no one asks them for their input prior to a direction being set.

Here's your chance. If you don't take advantage of these opportunities to speak out and be heard, you don't have the right to complain later on if things aren't quite how you'd like to see them.