THE SITE’S PURPOSE
First, to encourage Southtown citizens, young and old alike, to become more knowledgeable about, and active participants in, the operation of their town government. In a self-rule democracy, where every citizen is responsible for his or her own political fate, there is no substitute for widespread citizen participation. Citizens not only have the right, but the duty, to take part in their town’s governing process.
Second, to assist citizens and elected town officials, working together, to find ways to build and maintain effective local governments in the rural Southtowns. Good government doesn’t just happen. This is especially the case in rural America where small towns often depend on non-trained, part-time elected and appointed officials to provide day-to-day public services and manage the town in accord with basic democratic principles.
In larger, more urban units of government, elected and appointed officials typically draw upon the knowledge and experience of full-time, public management staffers. Whereas small town officials face complex administrative and policy making issues without similar staff assistance.
One way to close this gap is to cultivate skilled, informed and engaged town citizens through meaningful civic participation opportunites and effective training programs. In this way, citizens will acquire and develop the civic skills needed to do their part in strengthening the town’s governing process,
The Southtowns is the geographic region south of Buffalo, New York, including the towns of: Boston; Brant; Colden; Collins; Concord; Eden; Evans; Holland; North Collins; Sardinia and Wales.
Southtowns Almanac. Here you can get better acquainted with the geographic, economic, demographic and political characteristics of each town.
The Bookshelf. Reports, documents and other reference materials will be found here.
The Learning Center. Assuming that learning never ends, this portal will contain both historical and current information to help us better understand the operation of national, state and local governments in America.
Schoolbook Democracy. Here you can review the version of American democracy taught in the Southtown high schools. Both high school students and elected officials are likely to raise interesting questions when the schoolbook view of democracy is compared with the way democracy is practiced in the Buffalo Southtowns.
Key Public Issues. What factors are at work in the Southtowns promote “good” local governments? What factors work to limit the effectiveness of local governments?
Here you will find notices, reports, newspaper articles and information about emerging and ongoing issues, events, happenings and other noteworthy public items in the Buffalo Southtowns.
Soapbox. This an open, community-wide public affairs forum. Here you can read what is on the minds of other Southtowners and add your own point of view on public issues. For those issues you care most about, consider sharing your constructive comments with others.
Please consult the rules-of-engagement listed on the “Soapbox” page.
The goal here is to become better informed and to find ways to strengthen the practice of democracy in the Southtowns.
Glossary. A list of important terms.
[whohit]Home Page Site Roadmap[/whohit]