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Businesses complain without helping

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I can’t help but read in amazement at the dialogue ongoing about Old Town and Downtown Business Improvement Districts association activities (or lack thereof) and how this issue suddenly surfaced in the City Council meeting on Monday evening (Journal, March 13). As a citizen at large, and a frequent customer to both Old Town and Downtown business establishments, I am rather disappointed in all the noise from the various business owners. Further, I fail to understand the City Council’s involvement in the details of the association’s operations. I am not taking sides in any of this as it seems many of the concerns may be valid. What does surprise me and I find appalling is the lack of participation and abdication of responsibility by the business owners themselves. The lack of participation at association board meetings and working within the system is symptomatic of what may be wrong. Too many people don’t participate, don’t voice concerns, don’t vote, but prefer to just sit back and complain after the fact. As far as I am concerned, if you don’t participate, then just shut up and live with the outcome. Both retail and hospitality are important to our community. Neither does well without the other. We are all part of the larger community and paying your dues is just part of the cost of doing business. If you don’t like the association’s direction and activities, work within the system to change it. I am sure you don’t withhold your taxes if you don’t like the decisions of your city, county or state representatives. This is not the Boston Tea Party. Steve Laskey, Auburn