Let YOUR voice be heard

By: 
NLJ Staff

We always encourage people to speak their voice and let their opinion be heard, especially when it comes to anything your government is doing. When issues affect you or your neighbors, it’s crucial to be a part of the

conversation. However, we don’t feel you should hide behind paper, the internet or someone else’s voice in doing so.

Recently, the Newcastle City Council hosted a town hall to discuss the possibility of allowing
backyard chickens within Newcastle’s city limits. The meeting was well attended, with roughly 20 people who showed up in favor of the idea, and a
handful against. 

During this meeting, the overwhelming theme was that chickens should be allowed, with regulation. Two or three individuals made statements questioning the decision, and suggested that there are several issues that allowing residents to have chickens in the city might bring.

Then, on June 6 during the council meeting Mayor Pam Gualtieri read two letters from concerned individuals about backyard chickens in town. The letters outlined issues that could arise with allowing backyard chickens, and reasons why these individuals are against it. The problem, however, as Councilman Tyrel Owens pointed out, is that neither of these letters were signed.

Owens said that neither of these letters are relevant to the issue, because the individuals who wrote them were apparently not willing to put their name out there. He said that a public meeting was held to encourage an open narrative on the discussion, and if people are against chickens in Newcastle they should be willing to be a part of that narrative. 

We want to applaud Owens for his statements and encourage anyone who has an opinion on any topic to let your voice be heard, but you must do so in an appropriate way. Civility is crucial, approach is important, and anonymity only leads to problems. 

We’ve all heard the saying, “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” This statement is true when dealing with government officials — or anyone. People are more likely to listen and consider your opinion when you approach them in an appropriate and respectful way, when you speak (or write) your feelings openly and concisely. 

Your opinion matters, and people deserve to hear it, but you need to make those statements publicly. Signing your name to your opinion gives it credibility.

At the News Letter Journal, our policy is that we don’t run opinion pieces or letters to the editor that are not signed, and we applaud Owens once again for making sure that people know they should sign their names to their opinions if they feel their input is needed publicly.

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News Letter Journal

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