Guest Columnist

Atkins: Democracy thrives in local government

Colette Atkins is a candidate for Marion City Council Ward 1.

I am proud to announce my candidacy for the Marion City Council representing Ward 1, a position I have held since I was appointed by the City Council in 2018.

In my time on the Marion City Council, I have upheld the standard of governmental transparency that my City Council colleagues — and the residents of Marion — expect and value. Witnessing firsthand the internal processes of government and the decisions that follow has encouraged me to redouble my efforts to engage Ward 1 residents, and all Marion residents, in our collective decision-making.

Too often in our current social and political climate, the pervading belief is that only a small few are granted decision-making abilities. My time on the Marion City Council has reminded me that democracy is as important in city government as it is in state and federal government. My view of democracy was certainly planted and cultivated while I served in the United States Air Force. It was demanded that we make informed decisions based on quality intelligence and values as we represented our government. I will strive to do the same as a continuing member of the Marion City Council.

I am passionate about several issues impacting our growing Marion community, chief among them our need to improve and safeguard the infrastructure in Ward 1. As our community expands northward to facilitate our burgeoning population, we must also ensure that the infrastructure in our original Marion neighborhoods, including our downtown, is maintained and supported.

I believe that economic prosperity, and especially for small businesses, is a key indicator of the success of our community. As the council member representing Marion’s downtown, I recognize the importance of maintaining a vital, lively downtown that is representative of many different types of businesses. Marion is welcoming to small businesses, and we must continue to find avenues of support to ensure that these small businesses thrive and that other businesses seek to locate in our community.

Access to community hubs is an important issue, particularly as we seek to grow together. I look forward to continuing to create community hubs in Marion, like the development of a new library, where all residents feel welcome and can gather for an exchange of fellowship and ideas.

Colette Atkins is a candidate for Marion City Council Ward 1.

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