City council meeting provides civics lesson

Residents received a lesson in civics this week -- at a city council meeting no less.

City council meetings are usually events that are sparsely attended by only those who, for whatever reason, feel they must be there -- namely the city council, city staff and few others.

But on Tuesday it was standing room only.

We commend Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta for proposing an ordinance that would have forbidden people from openly carrying firearms in city parks, buildings and at the city pool. A gun owner himself, Vanatta must have known the measure would not be popular. But as a peace officer, he felt this would enhance the public safety.

He was doing his job.

The residents who showed up had already called up city council members and voiced their strong opposition to the proposed law because they saw it as an infringement of their constitutional rights. They might have left it with the phone calls but they decided to show up at the meeting any way.

They were doing their job.

And the city councilors who unanimously voted the measure down said they listened to their constituents. Some added that the ordinance provided a solution to a problem that

doesn't exist.

They were doing their job.

This is how a representative government is supposed to work.

It's a shame we don't get a packed city council meeting or county commission meeting unless it involves a controversial issue.

Too many times, however, what starts off as not so controversial can become a tempest later -- when the time for public input has long past.

We can just imagine the feedback the Moffat County master plan meetings would have had if officials had attached a gun control measure to it.

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