Unbelievably, it's already been a year since four of us started alternating for the second time, writing a local opinion column in this spot on Tuesdays and Fridays. We all chose subjects that had meaning for us and hopefully, at least some of the time, it had meaning for you, too.
Up to a point, you were free to make comments online; then that went away, possibly after someone noted that they thought I needed mental help. I didn't go back to look after that maybe someone said something even worse. I don't know. All's I know is that suddenly 'comments' were gone, ending the ability to express agreement or dissension with any writers. That seems like a contradiction when we realize that typically newspapers have been the bastion of 'free speech' in this country. One must then ask: Was it a privilege that was taken away or a right that has been denied?
A specific goal given to each of us was to write about what was going on in our communities. My fellow writers did an admirable job; I think I didn't quite hit the mark. I've always marched to a different drummer. I seem to have had other things that caught my attention much of the time and I wanted to talk about those. Maybe that's why someone said I needed mental help?
This week, however, my attention was jerked back into focus on my local community when the Tribune gave it an "onion" for "hiring a public relations firm to promote the city for business development" saying that "Cortland already has the Regional Chamber and its own elected officials to serve this purpose."
I read through minutes of the most recent city council meeting and it looks to me like they hired "the Dick Rubenstein Agency to put together an audio visual presentation" that the elected officials were going to use at a specific breakfast program held on June 12th "for local business owners and anyone who had a vested interest in the City of Cortland to show them how they, as a whole, can help bring business to Cortland and help promote the City of Cortland."
In a town where the Mayor used to send out a posse to bring down anyone who disagreed with him, it is a welcome relief, and even a pleasure to have a Mayor (Curt Moll) and a group of council members who come together for the common good of our community.
Because this City Council has thus far proved to be thoughtful and thorough in their consideration of the needs and greater good of Cortland, I feel pretty certain that they did their homework on this one. I also doubt that the Chamber would have provided a specifically focused Cortland video to the city for free even though we are a member of the Chamber's Trumbull County Roundtable. Their promotional focus has to be inclusive of the region at large and that's as it should be.
As a resident of Cortland, I'm proud to see Council making business development a priority for our community. Creating a tool (the video) to help meet the goal is smart. Inviting current businesses to take ownership of the process is also smart very smart. I hope they embrace it wholeheartedly.
As for that 'onion', I doubt it will be withdrawn; but it doesn't really matter because Cortland knows it's definitely a winner!
To all of you who read what I had to say over this last year: if it made you think a little deeper, laugh out loud, scratch your head in wonder (or disbelief), agree or disagree, whatever the case, I thank you for your time. I wish you all a wonderful rest of your life.
Jagunic is a resident of Cortland. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org!