Letters: A marketplace of ideas

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A Winters Express Letter to the Editor

Express publisher Taylor Buley has often remarked to me that he likes the paper to be a marketplace of ideas. If you have an idea, thought, concern, or opinion, as long as it isn’t libelous or tabloid gossip, he wants to publish it. However, elections are different. Equal time must be offered to all candidates in a race.

In the spirit of equal time, “A City, if You Can Keep It” will be taking a break starting today. Last week, I filed my papers to run for city council, and the horses are at the starting gate.

In the two years I’ve been writing that column, my goal has been to inform, dissect, discuss, and take a different type of look at issues relevant to Winters. Sometimes city council meetings, sometimes county programs (like the Yolo Habitat Conservancy), sometimes state issues, and sometimes actions or statements of elected officials, at all levels.

I aimed to always have data or provable facts to support the opinion in each column and to be informative in a way that pure news cannot. My personal measure of if I was on target was simple — If people from both ends of the political spectrum could both agree with some ideas and disagree with others in my columns, then I felt I was avoiding bias as best I could and letting the information and data take me places rather than my preconceived thoughts.

The name of the column is a reference to Benjamin Franklin’s response to a group of citizens outside the constitutional convention who asked what sort of government they had created. Franklin’s response was, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

The reasoning behind his statement was that simply penning a government into existence does not mean it is everlasting or without need of safeguarding and upkeep. The same goes for Winters, and so the column was named thusly thanks to the historical inspiration provided by my wife.

Winters is a place that needs attention from us all. We could be content to let it sit and grow to the desires of outside interested parties, or allow it to be controlled by people with an agenda that suits them. And the city would still exist, but would it be Winters?

The people who live here make Winters, even though they sometimes forget that. On November 8th, we the residents of Winters proper have a biennially designated time to tend to our city by affirming the existing or appointing new leadership.

So, for now, this column will sign off and I leave you as Winters, a city, if you can keep it.

Richard Casavecchia

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