A democratic government is one in which the people have the power — one where our voices are heard through the power of our right to collect information and make an informed, accurate vote.
With this power, we elect officials and trust them to represent our interests in local, state and national governments.
We also vote on how our tax monies should best be spent in the form of tax increases and millages.
But too often, we take that right to allow our voice to be heard for granted, which sometimes, allows for elections to be held with just a small fraction of the population’s voices to be heard.
For that reason, we at The Times support the decision to postpone the vote on whether to renew the Recreation District 2-3 millage until October — giving more voters a greater liklihood of casting ballots and also more time for other opinions on recreation to be heard.
The direction of recreation in our parish has become a hotbed and divisive issue in recent years.
For a history on some of the issues the department has had that has caused the wheels of change to get into motion, visit our website archive, because we’ve helped to break some of the most substantial stories about the issue in the past 18-24 months. Some of our reporting and information gathering has gone a long way in some of the winds of change that have blown through the department in recent years.
Rec. 2-3 has undergone a leadership change throughout this highly publicized process, but now, the voters of Terrebonne Parish will have an opportunity to publicly state whether they believe in the direction of the district or if they think further actions for reform are needed.
Those efforts for further overhaul, mainly headed by a group called Rec Reform for Terrebonne also have gained steam in recent months and the leadership of that quickly growing group contends that a vote to extend the millage so soon is not necessary because it is not yet nearing expiration. They contend that voters should instead vote on reform first, then vote on millage renewals later.
For more information on Rec Reform for Terrebonne’s stances and policies, search them on Facebook or online at www.RecReform.com.
The group adds that a vote on the May ballot would have been against the best interests of the people of Terrebonne Parish who deserve the opportunity to have a voice about the direction of recreation on a ballot where there will be full voter turnout and an accurate representation of the people in the district. The voters, they say, also deserve the opportunity to learn more about the ideas they’re proposing for the future — including modernization and the reorganization of rec districts with one, balanced milage.
We, at The Times, agree with that opinion and think that voters need more time to figure this thing out.
Too often, millage renewals are placed on a ballot at a time in the election calendar when turnout will not be high.
To have had this big of a decision for voters in one of those “slow” ballots would have been outside of the spirit of a democracy and we agree with the decision makers within Rec. 2-3 for allowing the entire population base within that district to have a vote, even if that was not their primary motivation for delaying the vote.
It’s a shame that we, the people, don’t take more pride in exercising our civic duty, but such is the world that we live in.
So, we support the decision to push the vote.
It’s the right thing to do.
Voters need more time to gather information on the direction of Rec. 2-3’s new leadership. They also deserve more time to hear the arguments and efforts of Rec Reform for Terrebonne, because some of the arguments they make are strong, as well.
With the added time, we will head to the fall, and we look forward to the voices of the people being heard, and may the chips fall where they may.
If voters opt to reform recreation, that’s their choice.
If they opt against it, that’s fine, too, and then it will be a time to consider funding and millage renewals.
But again, it’s the voters’ choice and they deserve the right to make it.
It’s the way of a democratic government.
It’s why we’re the greatest free nation in the world.
On behalf of the entire staff at The Times and our entire team at all of Rushing Media, we wish everyone in the Houma-Thibodaux area a blessed and Happy Easter!
In these days ahead, we ask citizens to be safe and blessed with joy and happiness. We also ask for locals to remember the reason for the holiday and to embrace the selfless spirit and sacrifice in their own lives.
Happy Easter to all!
We wish the best to you and yours on this spring holiday.
He has risen! •