I first attended an Oro Valley Town Council Meeting out of necessity. I assume this is why many others attend their first meeting as well. And while the item on the agenda in which I was interested didn't end in my favor, I left with a renewed sense of faith in people and a discovered interest in local politics.
Perhaps what I found most fascinating about my experience were the numerous employees in the Oro Valley town staff. They were ready and willing to help in every way and doing so with a sense of compassion.
These were not insensitive drones dealing with yet another unhappy citizen as one might expect, though I'm sure they've heard their fair share of complaints. These were professional, accommodating, valuable employees, knowledgable in their area of expertise, that allowed the process of using my voice for what I believed in, to be very unintimidating.
Attending a Town Hall Meeting seemed so out-of-reach and daunting.
I never planned on attending one until I had to and didn't understand the purpose one would want to attend, i.e. small fish big pond, unless left no other choice.
I think to some people, much like my previous self, it is an intimidating idea, one that deters more from being able to attend. I want to assure those that it is a wonderful platform to voice your concerns, opinions, and ideas, as is your right. And it allows you firsthand to see those representing you and your community in a way that can only be appreciated in person.
The National Council on Aging's website lists nine helpful tips on attending a Council meeting should you find yourself wanting to be prepared beforehand.
There's no time like the present to get started. Attend next Wednesday's Oro Valley Council meeting. It starts a 6PM in the council chambers of the town complex at 11000 La Canada. And, if you can't be there in person, watch on line at this link.
Attend a meeting if for no other reason than to say you've experienced one. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised and at the very least, gain new insight into the inner workings of our great town of Oro Valley.
Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley a total of five years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. Her husband is Canadian so she is a hockey fan by default and so are her two very clever children. When not being a mommy, she enjoys hiking in Catalina State Park, hand building pottery, and gardening. Her favorite things about living in Oro Valley are the towns recognition of art and culture, their commitment to preserving nature and the Christmas parade. (Also anything from GMG Chinese Bistro.)