According to the United States Census Bureau, there are 89,055 separate governmental agencies in the United States. Both the national and local media pay a lot of attention to our one national government, and local media help us understand our fifty state governments. However, there are tens of thousands of local governmental units, including county and city governments and special focus governmental units like school districts, water districts and others.
The City of Casper is one among those tens of thousands of local governmental units, and I'd like to commend the Casper City Council, especially, for being an outstanding example of effective, thoughtful local governmental decision-making.
If you haven't been to a Casper City Council meeting lately, I hope you will take the time to go. Feb. 20 I watched the nine members of the Council handle matters both mundane (consent agenda expenditure items) and profound (a proposed anti-discrimination resolution). All matters were handled efficiently, but effectively as well, with much thought and care and respect for both the issues and the perspectives of concerned citizens.
I would recommend attending a Casper City Council meeting for another reason: it is a public forum where the First Amendment right to free speech is thriving. Our fellow Casper citizens, no matter what side of the various issues they represented, shared their deeply held and caring perspectives in articulate, well-researched and moving language.
Both the City Council and my fellow Casper citizens touched me deeply that night, and I left the Council meeting knowing I live in a democracy that works. Thank you all.