Living Democracy

Marengo County Commission Takes Aim at Trash Problem

Image of shooting range signThe bustling town of Linden is home to 2,000 people and is the county seat of Marengo County. This week I was invited to come to the County Commission meeting to gain an understanding of local politics in action.  

Upon arrival all persons must undergo a security check including metal detectors and bag scans. This is something I found to be a bit surprising. After passing security and walking down two windowless corridors, the meeting room was within sight. 

Every time an elected official entered the room they each made a point to come up and greet every attendee in the audience. This encouraged many smiles amongst the crowd. Laughter and meaningful conversations spread across the room.

At the beginning of the meeting, the officials asked me to introduce myself and explain my Living Democracy project. I told them that my project was centered on collecting veterans’ stories. After finishing my short introduction, almost every person had suggestions on who I could interview this summer. These comments helped to reinforce my confidence that what I am doing matters and made me feel at home in Linden.

Three commissioners in attendance next worked through a community problem as they discussed the local shooting range. The range is located on County Road 44, just a short 10-minute drive from Main Street.

The local range has been in use for years. However, in recent month, visitors to the public facility have often found trash at the site.

The Commission decided to resume patrols by local deputies to check on the range from time to time. This policy will be put in place in the hopes of curtailing the trash that is often left behind at the range.

Commissioner John Crawford said a sign is going to be posted at the entrance to the range along the lines of “If it comes with you, it leaves with you.”

The Commission also set new hours for the range, from sun up to sundown, in hopes of preventing late night shenanigans.  The shooting range is shaping up into a nice community project, and It was impressive to see the community care so much about this space.

This meeting served to show me how much this community truly cares about everything. After my first week in Linden, I learned there is no shortage of people willing to help.

Last Updated: May 16, 2016