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Caring about our community can take many approaches. The best is to ask.

I’d like to thank Mayor Soash, Dan MacKenzie and Edith Waldstein as well as the other current city officials for being willing to lead and to answer questions.

I’d like to thank the Waverly Newspapers for a clear policy on Letters to the Editor and their willingness to post all views. Even the newspaper takes a hit from the SM (social media) blamers.

I wonder if asking those who want to speak at council meetings to provide a written statement for the city records and the press might not tone down the emotions? You have to think a bit in order to write, deliver, and stand by your commentary. It can be done at the council meeting — doesn’t have to be fancy, just in writing. It is easier not to be misquoted that way.

Social media is not social at all. It is only a place to dump for some. No matter how brilliantly offensive you think you’ve been or how anonymous, it will be easy to do these things.

One is to filter electronically and dump or block.

Another is to have live staff filter and block — I know this is done by Pat Grassley as his staff member hit reply all rather than reply. I received a back-up call explaining (never apologizing) from the politician himself.

Another is to continue to dry up the sources of people who care enough to take public office.

I asked questions of the Fire Department and have no answer yet although my Ward 2 representative is a volunteer there and did give me some explanations. Still waiting.

I asked questions of Waverly Utilities when I received this strange little message and a long ago invoice. “We also found some additional invoices that are available to be paid. Click on Add selected invoices to your cart when you are ready to pay.” I went in, in person with the printout and they investigated and found that was a mistake. And, just for fun, have you ever seen such an invitation to pay when you are ready? Interesting.

I asked questions of the major credit card company that froze my in-good-standing since 2007 — when I took it out — account and sent my sons (and heirs) condolences about my death. I called in and when I reached the right department and asked “Do I sound dead?” That staff member said “No, but let me check.” Wasn’t funny then but is now!

I asked questions of Mayor Soash and was invited to a meeting with the mayor and with my Ward 2 representative. I took my own stash of hate mail because I wanted to say, it has always been possible and it is also possible to survive and rise above.

As a river city and the largest city in the county, Waverly will see many topics that invoke strong feelings no matter who is mayor or council.

Besides saying thank you for good work, I’m going to ask about items I don’t fully understand.

Thanks for the work done so far on Cedar Lane. The road bed has been raised, the curves softened, the surface is new and smooth, and the shoulders may give some walkers a better way to walk and stay out of traffic. The curbs in the narrow section seem to have eliminated the “Maiming stakes” and I’m glad of that.

People who want to park and fish may need to park at Pelikan Park or Waverly Utilities and make their way by boat to those favorite fishing spots but they can still get there. The new construction is making the roadway muddy a bit but that will be solved in the spring when grass can grow.

I hope speed will not become a problem on the new surface because woodland creatures do cross this road to move from the island or river to the fields and woodlands on the other side of Cedar Lane. Even the flying birds seem to prefer to walk!

I think baseball diamonds, county fair, Third Street Bridge, road diet, and so much more will be up for discussion in the coming year. Let’s ask and answer and discuss.

Have I gone to City Hall and to Waverly Utilities in person to yell about five green boxes in my yard and about installation of fiber that would need to be redone? You bet. Do I still have the five boxes and was the installation corrected? Yes. Do I think I could have handled both better? Yes.

Thank you to all who speak up and do it with reason and good manners no matter the subject.

Patricia Coffie is a storyteller and retired librarian living in Waverly. She can be reached at