Students Can Make a Difference in City Affairs

My parents taught me the importance of keeping my word. When you make a promise and you can’t handle your responsibilities, you lose credibility and trust. Once trust is broken, yeah it can be fixed with work, but it is never the same. Three members of the Maryville City Council can no longer be trusted.

Three weeks ago, President of Northwest Missouri State University John Jasinski asked the council to put the brakes on two proposed alcohol ordinances. The extra time would allow city leaders to meet directly with the students and members of the community before voting.

An open forum was held, but that event just did even more to distance the council and law enforcement from the community. Mayor Jim Fall and councilwoman Renee Reidel showed up to speak with students. Ron Moss, Jeff Funston and Glenn Jonagan chose to stay home.

That’s a slap in the face to the community of students who live, work and pay taxes in Maryville. How can I trust an elected official when they don’t care about the opinions of those who elected them in the first place?

This isn’t the first time the council has shown that they don’t care about public opinion. When the bar age was voted on, not a single member of the audience spoke in favor of raising the entry age from 19-21. The council didn’t take into account anyone’s opinion.

Alcohol reform in Maryville certainly should be addressed. Underage drinking is an issue not exclusive to Maryville, but we can still do better than we have been. The issue here is how the council is trying to fix the problem. They don’t understand the reasons minors would want to drink in Maryville so they’re operating off their own assumptions and life experiences…from decades ago.

Showing up to the forum and actually having a dialog with those most effected by the ordinances could have resulted in a more productive ordinance for the community. Unfortunately, we will not have that opportunity because of the stubbornness and closed-minded nature of three of our council members.

Students and members of the Maryville community go out and vote. All three candidates running for the two open seats have committed to listening to their constituents and taking their thoughts into consideration when voting. Know that your vote in local elections makes a difference. 

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