I have received a lot of words of encouragement over the last few weeks from the people of this city and surrounding area. I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support. Most have asked me to reconsider my decision to resign from the council. After many long hours of contemplation, I have come to the conclusion that my first decision was the right one for me and my family.
I feel that I was shown a level of disrespect at my last meeting that I cannot ignore. I will debate and argue my points for hours on end and leave shaking the hands of my opponents with no hard feelings. However, when someone tries to shut me up by closing the meeting while I am mid-argument is unacceptable.
In my eyes, this is the same as telling someone their opinion is invalid and unimportant. I will not tolerate this bullying in my private life, nor should I have to permit it in public. Nobody has to agree with me, but I believe a certain amount of respect is warranted during public meetings.
I was upset during the meeting; however, I was not mad until this blatant act of disrespect reared its ugly head.
Secondly, when a governing body begins to care more for special interest than the community it is sworn to serve, it is, in my opinion, corrupted in that it no longer performs its duty in its intended manner.
If a private phone call can change votes, the governing body is no longer transparent; it’s bordering on the opaque. My morality prevents me from being a part of a body that performs its duty in such a way.
Lastly, I am man of my word. What I say I will do will be done. I made my decision and I will stick with it, for better or for worse. If a man is not good for his word, he is not good for anything.
This community does not need me as its voice. It does not need nine people in a room twice a month making all the civic decisions. What this community needs is a hundred leaders whose voices join together and make a noise loud enough that it cannot be ignored. This noise should be a shout against any and all behavior harmful to our community, and a deafening applause for community building efforts and morality.
I pray the people of this city will get involved in the community and invest its time and hard work to better Vandalia. With a little hard work and a little time, this city could be a shining star in Central Illinois.
A final thought: One alderman said I was beating a dead horse. That same alderman beat the same dead horse two weeks earlier and brought it back to life, made it change colors, then made it the law. If he can resurrect a horse, what would a group of community leaders be capable of?
I would like to thank everyone for your support over these past 3½ years.
May God bless Vandalia and its citizens.
Terry Beesley, Vandalia