In the past, most of the people who would contact the Gateway Sun would either be someone who had some pretty good dirt to spill, or empty-nesters who had legitimate complaints about the GSCDD.

That hasn’t been the case recently.

Lately we’ve been hearing from residents who are parents of school-aged children that plan on living in Gateway for the foreseeable future, and they’re wondering if this community may not be what they envisioned when they moved here.

That’s understandable.

The Gateway CDD is ostensibly running out of money, the amenities we have are either unappreciated or under-maintained, we seem to have a major problem with many lakes in the area, and there’s a few dozen people who influence most of what happens in this town that seem intent on making sure nothing fun happens here.

But some residents have apparently had enough of the killjoys.

Many of the emails we’re getting these days have a “what can we do to change things?” tone to them. It’s no longer just people ranting and complaining. People are wondering how they can help make Gateway better, even just asking what can realistically be done?

I wouldn’t say we’re on the verge of a movement or anything like that, but there’s a small group of residents who may be looking to liven things up in the community. They seem to want a better living experience in Gateway for their own families.

They don’t really seem interested in going after the low-lying fruit, either. They don’t really complain about the Supervisors or talk about shaking up the GSCDD through the political process.

All they seem to want right now is a discussion about improving Gateway’s future.

But just what will Gateway look like in a few years?

In order to answer that, each resident needs to ask themselves if they want to be someone who’s only interested in keeping assessments low and gliding by on the amenities, or do they want to be someone who’s supportive of creating a community that’s known as a thriving place to live?

And each of our leaders needs to ask themselves if they want to be the person who stands in the middle of the Sherman Soccer Complex yelling at the children to “get off my lawn!” .. or do they want to be someone who is known as a builder? Someone who uses their time in office to make life better for the families that live here?

Back in 2007, Gateway became a town divided.

The issue of whether to build a massive park surrounding the Gateway Commons Pool pitted neighbor against neighbor in a vigorous, open and honest discussion. Many people were for the park, and many people were against the park. But it definitely wasn’t a one-sided debate.

Obviously the park never got built. Whether you were happy with the result or not you have to admit that, for awhile at least, the town was alive.

Based on communications I’m having with residents, people are getting the itch again to do something meaningful in Gateway. And they aren’t talking about repairing lake banks or which types of plants to put in the median.

The Supervisors have so much on their plate already that they won’t invite discussion on anything more than lightly sprucing up the place. It’s that simple.

For the Board, anything big is going to have to wait until after road turnover and definitely after a plan for the ponds is in place – if a discussion ever happens at all. But right now (and at least until 2016 when three GSCDD seats are up for election) it really is a non-starter.

So if this group of residents wants to get something going they’re going to have to do it outside of the GSCDD meeting room. If they want new or better amenities or whatever they’re looking to accomplish, they’re going to have to get the ball rolling on their own.

But one thing is for sure: if you’re one of those people – perhaps a holdover from the defeat over the park in 2007 – that wants to help do something big for the community, you’re definitely not alone.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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