One of the complaints from East County leaders is that they usually don't hear from their constituents unless they're angry about something and demanding that something be done about it.
This is understandable, as we're all leading busy lives and a lot of us don't have the time to regularly show up at City Council and Planning Commission meetings and share our two cents on this or that topic. It can also be intimidating to speak in a public forum.
But democracy tends to work best with an engaged citizenry that not only points out problems and demands that something be done about them, but that offers solutions and a willingness to pitch in and help. The more communication between our leaders and informed residents, the better.
This opinion page, in editorials and especially residents' letters, has been a helpful forum in that regard. We pride ourselves on serving as the main sounding board in East County for local opinion from all of our communities.
We've also launched a discussion board on our Web site, www.thepress.net, that so far hasn't been used as much as we'd like. It's easy to participate, however; simply click on Local Forums at the top of the page, register and start sharing your views.
And readers are always welcome to comment on any of our articles online by scrolling to the end of the article, posting their comments and typing in the validation code.
In the coming weeks, we plan to create another platform on which East County residents can speak out on the issues important to them. It's similar to our Have Your Say feature; it includes mug shots of contributors above their comments.
There's one difference, however; instead of interviewing folks on the street at random, we'd like to cultivate a regular group of contributors who are up on what's going on in their community and East County and who can articulate interesting opinions. Each week we'll e-mail a question on various issues to this group and publish the most noteworthy comments, along with photos, on the opinion page.
This is an opportunity to become one of the movers and shapers of opinion in East County, and we look forward to your participation. If you're interested or want more information, e-mail us at email@example.com.