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Show up, speak up for WC

June 10, 2016
Lindsay Henderson - Guest view ,

Editor's Note: Lindsay Henderson, Webster City, attended the recent Webster City Town Hall meeting and offered these thoughts in a Facebook post. We share this with our readers with her permission.

For those of you who have known me for a while, you know that I have gone through quite the revolution both in my personal and professional life over the past few years. While continuing to take on new opportunities for professional growth, lately I have also made a commitment to give more time and energy to important personal causes, like helping with political campaigns, becoming a certified volunteer victim advocate, and more recently, seeking opportunities to get involved in my community, my hometown of Webster City.

As a youth growing up in Webster City, I was like a lot of kids, imagining an exciting life far away in a big city, and thinking it would be embarrassing to find myself here 17 years later. I was so completely wrong about that. I feel truly blessed to be here raising my kids in a superb public school system, surrounded by my family, with a great job, and supportive husband. Webster City even has fabulous coffee shop I would have died for as a teen. (I used to drive all the way to Java Joe's in Des Moines) Shout out to my brother Shawn and his wife Laura, the new owners of Morning Glory Coffee.

I believe that after coming through a rough patch, our community is on the verge of its own revolution in the best sense of the word. I see a community thirsty for fresh, positive voices and vision, and ripe for creative minds to take action. We all know how easy it is to get sucked into the routine of our, kids, home, and how carving out a few more hours of our time can feel virtually impossible. It can also be scary to put yourself out there, not sure if anyone will welcome you or care at all about your ideas. I am right there with you, but I really think Webster City needs us to do and give what we can right now.

Recently, our city council restarted their effort at holding Town Halls. They are trying to improve outreach and communication with all segments of our community. The first subject at hand was the new city manager selection. While people may have had some negative feelings about our latest manager, that energy can be harnessed into a positive vision for new leadership. However, the turnout at the town hall wasn't spectacular and there was a definite generational void (Gen X, Y, Millennials). I raised my hand and volunteered to help get more participation and feedback from the community going forward, but I need your help. I am really not that well-connected, and a definite newbie in citizen participation, but if I can stick my neck out there, so can you.

You really can make a difference at the local level. I saw for myself how eager and accepting the council and other community members are of "new" voices and ideas. I am, like many of you, invested in this community for the long haul. I plan to see my kids graduate from here and will maybe someday see my future grandbabies raised here as well. That is why it matters to give whatever time and skills we can to our community. If we want to see Webster City thrive for many years to come, we have to be an active contributor to that success.

The City Council will see no reason to keep trying the town halls and other efforts at openness and transparency if we don't show up and share in our half of the conversation. You hold more ideas and talents that could benefit us all than you realize. If you want to provide feedback for the new city manager selection, you can comment on this thread, send me an IM, or email me at If you want to help serve on the committee to gather more feedback, please let me know. Also, please reach out to Logan Welch, Brian Miller, or any of the other councilmen directly. They really do want to hear from you. And finally, next quarter when the council holds its town hall again, show up and speak up for Webster City.



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