Let's be part of the solution

July 6, 2014 

The decision by St. Elizabeth's to relocate from Belleville to O'Fallon is a huge disappointment. However, many of the comments posted on BND are far more troublesome and something I've seen before. I'm talking about comments like "Belleville is the next East St. Louis" and "this is the final nail in the coffin." The first comment is clearly racist, and both indicate a total lack of civic responsibility.

If you see problems in the community, you have a choice: You can be part of the problem or part of the solution.

If you do, or think about doing, any of the following, you're part of the problem: writing negative, mean-spirited comments on the BND's various platforms, spreading negative opinions, bashing city leaders or threatening to move because you think the city has "gone downhill." These behaviors serve no purpose; no problems are solved and they feed the misperception that Belleville isn't a good place to live or play. Simply put, you are dragging everyone down.

Each of us has a civic responsibility beyond paying taxes, voting and obeying laws. This means focusing on the community's common good by actively participating in an informed, committed and constructive manner.

If you care about your community, call your aldermen. Ask how you can help, bring ideas to neighborhood meetings, show respect as well as dissent, seek volunteer opportunities and most importantly, bring a positive, can-do attitude to whatever you're involved in.

There are a lot of great things happening in Belleville -- let's focus on that and fix the rest.

Toni Togias

Belleville

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