Recently, a group

of resdents who care about Aurora submitted a petition of 716 signatures to get the opportunity for everyone to vote on the issue of saving or paving a big part of our Town Center green. As we paused during the Portage County Board of Election's work to process the petitions, my thoughts turned to how we got to this point.

Instead of proposing the idea to build the parking lot and listening to neighbor's ideas for three readings worth of time, City Council was asked by the mayor to pass it that night, using the emergency rule.

Instead of our leaders responding to letters from neighbors and slowing down to look at where this proposal came from, they pressed forward with ears closed.

Instead of answering questions from the overflowing crowd at Town Hall on the final reading of the issue, most of our elected officials said nothing at all.

Instead of respecting our right to start a petition, ballfield work funded and started by the last mayor was suspended and looks like a form of punishment.

Instead of wondering how many more people would have signed the petition if we had more than just three weeks to circulate it, the city leaders sent out a newsletter promoting their pro-business ideas.

Instead of remembering that elected representatives are in office to represent voters, our leaders are closing their ears and their hearts.

So the question isn't what happens with the petition; it is this: What will it take for us, as citizens of the great United States, to get our leaders to listen? What will it take to get justice? When will the light of integrity shine again? It surely will, when we all stand up and hold our leaders accountable.

Rita Scott, Aurora