By: Natalie M. Zeigler
There have been a lot of positive changes in Hartsville over the last few years, with more to come. City officials and employees put in a lot of hard work to consistently improve the quality of life in our area. We enjoy planning functions, events and programs that provide citizens opportunities to gather and fellowship. We are committed to coordinating initiatives that attempt to address concerns and problems.
However, the City needs consistent help from the population to continue making positive change. I believe every individual has a responsibility to serve the community, and every resident has something to contribute. People must work alongside their local government to build community, to make Hartsville a place others want to visit, stay and invest. The City of Hartsville wants citizens to be more engaged and to create and lead new projects, organizations and initiatives.
This starts with empathy. Residents should take a moment each day to envision other perspectives. Think about how Hartsville could be made better for someone else. Ask yourself if there is a service that our municipality is missing. Is there a program that you think could benefit a person other than yourself?
When possible we should try our best to identify specific opportunities to improve our city. Look for things that need fixing and attempt to define why. What is the cause of the problem and what will be needed to address the issue? Not all challenges can be solved, but residents can lead projects that result in progress.
Brainstorm ideas that can help develop Hartsville and ways you can make it happen. If you think Hartsville could benefit from a dog park, a community mural, a block party or a bike-sharing program, research how other cities might have made similar features a reality. Contact the councilmember who represents your district to discuss the steps needed. Play an active role in shaping policy and programing. When coming up with ideas to address problems in Hartsville, continually ask “why?” and consider both the advantages and disadvantages that might occur if the City tried implementing your idea. The point is not to discourage yourself from making change but to clarify your vision for Hartsville.
No one can do it alone. Reach out to other residents that might commit to helping you pursue projects for Hartsville. Build a small community of engaged citizens around your shared attempt to improve the wider community. If you don’t have time to lead a project, volunteering whenever you can for an existing project is always helpful. The City of Hartsville is always in need of volunteers and can put you in contact with other organizations in need of assistance. Be sure to visit the volunteering page on our website, www.hartsvillesc.gov.
Positive change starts with individual commitments to making things better. I hope for more citizens to work alongside officials and representatives. I would like to see more residents lead the changes they want to see in Hartsville.