Tomorrow is Sidney’s much-anticipated open house on the future of Beacon Avenue — or at least a discussion about the direction drivers will be traveling through town.
The Town of Sidney is hosting the meeting to garner people’s opinions about Beacon — and whether it should be all two-way driving or left as-is with a three-block, one-way section. The conversation should be lively throughout the planned three-hour session, but people should not expect a major debate between those folks looking for change and those who want the status quo.
An open house is, in general, a sedate affair that offers information and experts to help answer people’s questions. There might be opportunity for speeches or comments from Town staff and proponents for change but this event is simply an information-gathering session.
An active debate over the issues (safety, economy, access) would imply a chance is being given for people to convince others of their argument and for residents to have a say in the outcome of the matter — for instance, in a referendum.
Since there’s no referendum on the table, Thursday’s open house is information gathering for Town staff and council, who will in the end make a decision on Beacon Avenue.
Yet despite a lack of any fireworks in the form of lively debate, folks should not pass up the opportunity to be heard.
Politicians tend to respond most strongly to either a clear majority — or a very vocal minority when there are no other voices to offer any opposition.
So here’s to not making Sidney council’s job any easier — after all, they were elected to make the tough decisions.
The News Review has said that no matter how the Beacon Avenue traffic direction goes, the decision to get there needs to be done for all the right reasons, including keeping the Town of Sidney beautiful. To that end, this debate needs people’s voices to be heard and we encourage residents and visitors alike to speak up, tell the Town how you feel and what you want your community to look like.