Editor’s Column: When should you speak up? Before you’re angry and before it’s too late

Sometimes it’s necessary to air a grievance or speak up to right a perceived wrong, but when and how we choose to make our complaints and concerns mug2016_2known is crucial to achieving the best outcome.
If you thought there was a terrible problem with the mechanical components of an airplane you were on, it would be a bit foolish to wait until after take-off to speak up, right?
Along the same vein, approaching a situation after you’ve let your discontent simmer for months (or years) puts you at a disadvantage: The other party is going to be put on the defensive, and productive communication will be hindered.
The same holds true in government, particularly local government, where we have the greatest potential impact as citizens. The time to get involved if you feel like something is malfunctioning is now, not when they’re getting ready to sign the check or pass the resolution. And it’s not when you and all your friends and neighbors have the torches and pitchforks out. Your concerns are more than likely very valid, but they should be addressed before you are embroiled in a seething cauldron of resentment, rumors and wrath.
As we get ready to enter a new year, think of all the things you catch yourself grumbling and grousing about (we all have them) and determine the most productive, peaceful way you can let your concerns be known in a timely fashion.
Attend board meetings, they’re open to the public. Write letters, request more information from the source, not from hearsay. Get involved, before the 11th hour when it’s too late.