Saturday, November 10, 2012

EDITORIAL >> Community: what it means

We were shocked and slightly stunned when a woman who lost her dog called to say the Jacksonville Community Center would not allow her to post a nicely printed lost poster on their bulletin board to help her find her dog.

Her grief at losing a dog she was greatly attached to was temporarily supplanted by anger at community center personnel, three of whom were sitting down and doing nothing.

They all nodded in assent, not one getting up to look at the poster. Just a firm “no, we’re not allowed to do that.”

Who pays to keep the Jacksonville Community Center running? And to whom does the Jacksonville Community Center belong? Much of the funding comes from the city and its taxpayers. It would be nice then if someone from the community could post a lost and found or other important notice on the center’s closely guarded and very boring bulletin boards.

Perhaps a real “community” bulletin board could be installed to provide a mechanism for people who would like to post a notice.

We can understand the community center trying to avoid the posting of dreck or advertising-for-profit on its boards.

But a little monitoring could abate problem postings.

Perhaps someone could just get up from behind the desk once a day and peruse what members of the community may have posted? Anything objectionable could be removed. There could be guidelines, like no washers and dryers for sale.

We’re thinking that people who live and work in Jacksonville and whose taxes go to the center’s upkeep and its employees’ payrolls should be able to post a lost-and-found notice. Is that asking too much?

Other entities in the community allowed the lady to post her signs, including the Jacksonville Animal Shelter, Knight’s and even the Department of Human Services, which put the notice on its front door. The local newspaper runs lost-and-found ads free. The garbageman Eric also kept a good eye out.

Her dog was returned in 10 days, a little disoriented but in perfect health. Thanks to all who extended their helping hand.

By the way, it might be nice if the community center’s staff could stand to cordially greet visitors to the community center like they mean it. They are, in effect, employed by the community.