Citizens’ welfare the focus of government


Eastern Gateway College abruptly closed its doors, forcing students enrolled at the Warren site to travel to Youngstown or continue their education online. Trumbull County needs renovation of its jail for additional housing and better screening of the inmates. There are “philosophical differences” between stressing enforcement of the law over drug education and community prevention.

With all these local issues, I am again reminded of what seems to matter most to our elected officials and their administrations, and I am questioning whether it truly is the welfare of the people living in our community.

To further my point, at a recent Warren City Council meeting, unanimous approval was given to a resolution to recommend and endorse an application for the construction of a state-of-the-art marijuana cultivation and growing facility within the city limits. With no prior news or open public forum for discussion with many unanswered questions, this resolution was passed as an emergency measure.

Ironically, at this same meeting, St. Vincent DePaul Society and the Warren neighborhood groups were recognized and honored (rightfully so) for their volunteer time, talent and tireless efforts to make our community a better place to live, while working to make a difference with families that have been impoverished, one way or another and in neighborhoods that have been destroyed by negligent or absentee homeowners.

So I am confused! With every step we take forward toward doing the right thing, are we taking two steps backward to undo it?

In lieu of recognizing the state of emergency with the heroin and prescription drug epidemic and the challenges we face with its impact on families, neighborhoods, schools, businesses, etc., is the welfare of our children and their potential to grow, learn and flourish as productive human beings really at stake here?

Remembering the red, yellow, green traffic signal lights that hang at busy intersections, we are cautioned to stop, look and listen before we proceed. With this adage in mind, I believe we are hearing and sending mixed signals to our young people, as we throw dollars away, boxing them in and limiting their possibilities for growth, rather than making a real earnest investment in their future.

Consider this letter an urgent plea to get involved and make our voice heard as we continue to advocate for families and programs that encourage prevention, education and intervention for the mental wellness of our entire community.