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Resolve to be more informed

To the editor:

At this time of year, as we have done multiple times in the past, many of us are contemplating our New Year’s resolutions. In addition to those issues you have decided to improve upon, I would suggest one other.

Not necessarily at the top of the list or even the middle, just on the list, would be to become more informed concerning the issues decided by your local elected officials.

Becoming more educated about city matters will enable you to develop an opinion based on facts, rather than perception or misinformation. If there is an issue that concerns you, you would be in a position to be proactive, rather than reactive. This is significant, since the process can be rather long, and citizens are much better served if their input is provided prior to when a final decision is about to be made.

There are several sources of information. You can live-stream City Council meetings, City Council work sessions and Planning Commission meetings on the municipal channel. You can also view past meetings going back to January 1994.

The city of Suffolk website is an excellent source of information. You can find all departments’ contact information, current events, boards and commissions and much more. Additionally, you can review the Capital Improvements Plan, the Comprehensive Plan, Downtown Master Plan, city budget, Unified Development Ordinance, city codes and more. The Freedom of Information Act allows citizens to request specific information that is not readily available.

I commend the Suffolk News-Herald for its efforts in keeping our citizens informed. The Suffolk News-Herald has reporters present at City Council meetings, School Board meetings, Planning Commission meetings and almost every significant event. I especially appreciate the extra effort that seems to be put forth recently since the Virginian-Pilot does not cover Suffolk news as it has in the past. In addition, the Suffolk News-Herald publishes the City Council agenda, community events and local sports.

The Suffolk News-Herald is a free publication and is conveniently located in paper boxes throughout the city. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must mention that my business is a regular advertiser.

Please choose to add this one additional New Year’s resolution. It will enable your elected officials to understand your concerns, answer your questions, be more effective and ultimately make decisions that improve the quality of life for all our citizens.


Mike Duman