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Editorial: Take the opportunity to give input

We are big advocates at the Independent of residents getting involved in the decisions that shape their lives. The more informed Farmington residents are, and the more they make their opinions known to the city council and school board members who make those big decisions, the better off everyone will be.

There are a couple of examples in this week's Independent of opportunities for resident involvement.

The first focuses on a relatively small group that has an opportunity to make a big difference. The district's American Indian Education Committee met recently, and while the group was small, the discussion was encouraging. There are some parents in the district who appear willing to put in the work necessary to create something meaningful.

The district is not required to make the committee anything more than it currently is - a once-a-year meeting to allow parents who choose to attend to have some input - but it certainly can. The nearby Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District has an active committee, with special events and classes available. Farmington's committee might never reach that level. It has roughly a quarter of that district's student population. But it has the chance to do something valuable, and it's encouraging to think there are people out there willing to do that work.

The other example is somewhat less encouraging, at least at first glance. The district held a public input meeting Monday to take opinions on proposed future budget cuts. It was a chance for residents to let the district's leaders know what they think is important and what they want the district to look like.

By our count, only four people showed up who were not either employed by the district or elected to serve on the school board. And while the crowd might have been much larger at a similar session planned for Tuesday, after this issue went to press, we can't help but wish there was a better representation Monday.

There was still some good discussion Monday, but with more people there it could have been even better.

The more residents are willing to put into their community, the better it will be for everyone.