Editor, The Beacon:

Letter-writer Jane Donlon was right to question the future quality of life in DeLand, and given recent events, there may be reason for pessimism.

It is not the recent election that will bring any change, but if DeLand’s future is to look bright, if you want a better government, citizens have to actively get engaged themselves in creating it!

Showing up at a public meeting once in a while not adequately understanding the issues will not provide our elected officials and staff with the public input needed for informed decisions.

DeLand needs citizens who understand our VISION 2050 Plan, our Comprehensive Plan, our development approval process, how our CRAs operate — in short, how our government works.

Mayor Robert Apgar, in his “wish list” for his successor, recommended the establishment of a Citizens Academy.

He noted that “A Citizens Academy is a higher priority now; a lot of the current residents do not have a good understanding of the way government works and how decisions are made, particularly in the area of development planning.”

I ask the new mayor and our city commissioners to heed Robert Apgar’s parting request and establish a Citizens Academy to educate and inform our citizens on how to effectively and efficiently participate in the governmental process.

If this happens, the chance for a better future for DeLand will indeed be brighter.

Frank Schnidman

DeLand

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