Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 27, 2013

OUR VIEW: The power of one person

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — When Lockport resident and Navy veteran Robert Stutz went to Joseph E. Kibler Park a few weeks back, he noticed that the American flag flying over the park was in tatters. That didn’t sit well with Stutz.

But instead of just complaining to other people and friends about the problem, he decided to do something about it.

First, Stutz took a photo of the tattered flag. Then, armed with the evidence, he visited city hall and left a message for City Clerk Richelle Pasceri, letting her know about the sad state of the flag.

When Pasceri called back, Stutz not only pointed out the problem, he offered a solution. He told Pasceri that he would purchase a flag to replace the old one, and drop it off at City Hall the following Monday. Pasceri assured him that as soon as they received the flag, someone from the Parks Department would replace it.

When Stutz showed up bright and early on Monday morning, he was told that the flag had already been replaced with a new one. So, he left his flag with the city, saying it could be used wherever else it was needed.

He also checked back at the park — and sure enough — a brand new flag was flying proudly.

Then, this week, Stutz received a letter from the city, telling him that the Common Council had passed a resolution thanking him for his contribution.

It’s a small thing – we know — in a city with a lot of bigger issues. But it shows that just one person can make a difference.

Because of the efforts of one concerned citizen, at least two old flags have been replaced in the city, and maybe even more importantly, something that started out as a negative was turned into a positive.

Full disclosure — Stutz is an advertising representative here at the Union-Sun & Journal — but that doesn’t matter, except that it helped us learn about the situation.

Too often we, as residents, see something that needs fixing around our city or town. But instead of doing something about it we just complain to each other and do nothing to change the situation.

Stutz didn’t do that. And because of him, something got done.

Maybe if enough of us followed his example we could see some bigger changes.