Colony residents are right to expect better of their elected officials. The discord among the council is not moving the town forward on solving problems, nor is it showing the community in its best light.
Colony has a unique place in Cullman County’s history, and the people who live there are appreciative of that history, but also want others to recognize it for its current attributes. Aside from location - an easy commute for people working in Birmingham, Cullman or other cities in North Alabama - it’s a close-knit community with ballfields, a park, library and education/community center. The community gym, once repaired, will be another asset to the town.
Colony also has something every other municipality in Cullman County should envy: an engaged citizenry. Not only does the town have young people willing to step up and take on the responsibility of leadership, it has residents who show up for every town meeting. One of Cullman County’s smallest municipalities has the greatest number of people at every meeting and they are there because they care about their town. They don’t come to see their elected leaders rehash old conflicts; they come because they love their community and want to see it prosper with dignity.
It’s clear the mayor and council also love their town. They appear to agree that aging infrastructure problems and limited revenues are the major challenges the town faces. Unfortunately, while they are making progress, personality conflicts and unresolved issues continue to derail discussions.
Every elected official in Cullman County needs to remember that once elected, they represent the people. In their public service, they should ask themselves, “How do my words and actions reflect upon those I represent?”
When running for office, a candidate runs as a “me” or “I.” But once that seat is won, the individual becomes part of a single governing body. Each member of a mayor/council system is but one part of the decision-making group. While we would never advocate elected officials just go along to get along - that is not good governing, either - it’s important to be able to work together as a group to achieve the goals the community has set.
Mayors and councils are elected by the voters to be leaders. Residents are right to expect their elected officials to look ahead and walk on common ground.