Show Up - A first Step

An Op Ed by Peter Bartolotta

You hear politicians saying it all the time. “Come to our meetings, ask questions, give your input; Go on the website and read the budget; Send me an email or text message; I want to hear from you.” It always sounds so simple, but the reality is it takes some work.

However like all things that take time and hard work it all begins with the first step which is typically not so tough.

So let’s take that first step together. Talk to a family member, friend, neighbor or a business associate. Let them become your learning buddy.

Here are three simple ways for you and your buddy to start.

1. Visit the city’s website which focuses on transparency. Get a look at city attractions like Warm Mineral Springs, NP Aquatic Center, and more; Find out about your water bill, trash pickup and recycling, permitting and more. See the performance dashboards which show how each department is doing as it relates to the department's goals. It’s all there on the city’s new website www.north port

2. Check out some positive social media sites such as North Port Forward, North P.O.R.T. , North Port Neighbors, RealTalk97.5, to name a few.

3. Have an eye opening experience about North Port and its future. Meet with a city employee. Ask them any questions you want and find out how they feel about North Port. The answers may surprise you. I can guarantee it will be totally different from what you read on social media from the naysayers. You may actually want to learn more about our fantastic city.

4. Attend a North Port Forward event, where you can meet the City Manager, Department Directors and Commissioners all at the same time. Great event for those of you who have limited time.

5. Meet privately with a commissioner, better yet meet individually with all of them. Learn their views from the source, not hearsay or negative social media. Learning about your city is the first step and it makes all the future steps so much easier.

Have fun along the way and learn to love your city for all its great assets. It will change your life in a positive way, and who knows, you may make a difference in North Port’s future.
All because you took the first step. Have a great day!

Peter Bartolotta [email protected] Cell: 941.626.1772