I was pretty excited when the Daily Reporter started offering the option to comment on stories, and even more impressed when people started actively posting. It's nice to be able to discuss local issues and events with other locals, or even non-residents that care about Spencer, IA for whatever reason.
I'm not one that has often been accused of having a positive outlook. In fact, I tend to be sarcastic. The cartoon character that I relate to most is Eeyore. But even with my often gloomy outlook, I can't believe how negative things have gotten in the story comments lately.
I'm sure that you have all seen the stories. Anything that pertains to city improvements, building construction, anything that costs more than a candy bar, or Dewey the cat seems to really bring out the complainers. And, most do their complaining hiding behind a screen name.
Yeah, jobs aren't easy to come by lately. But, really, does that need to be brought up constantly on stories that have nothing to do with businesses leaving town? Does needed updating of city lighting, renovating buildings, and supporting local artists really mean that city officials don't care if there are jobs? And in the Dewey Wars, I'm still not sure if the people causing the biggest stirs in those stories actually love or hate animals.
There ARE ways to get your opinion across, and maybe even get city officials to take notice. I would bet that some of them even read the postings on this website. Heck, perhaps even people from prospective companies thinking of relocating to the area read these. I'm not sure that the anonymous chantings of "This town sucks, now give me a high paying job" are the most effective way of persuading either.
I get negative sometimes, too. I used to live in a big, beautiful city that had everything. But now, I have to drive two hours to get to a Starbucks, Target, or Macy's. It's been years since I've eaten any decent Japanese food. I miss my friends, family, and clubs that I belonged to. But, I also dealt with a lot more crime. Once I came home from work to find that my block was taped off as a crime scene because a lady was found murdered up the street. Sometimes it took me two hours or more for my 20 some mile commute to and from work. Spencer really does have some advantages!
Perhaps we can improve this community by educating ourselves on the issues, and then conveying them in a mature and constructive way to our peers and city officials. Think of positive things that you can do to impact the community, and do it. Attend a city council meeting when they are discussing something that you don't agree with. It's hard to take somebody seriously when all they are is a whiny anonymous screen name.
Just remember, it could be worse than being a resident of Spencer, IA. You could live in Port-au-Prince.