Kudos to the hundreds of Fountain Hills residents who showed up last month on a sleepy, hot summer evening at a town Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. They came from all corners of the town and were prepared to discuss their viewpoints and concerns about the 400-apartment proposed to be built at Shea and Palisades.

Too often today, we quietly grumble and mumble about town issues that annoy us, but these good citizens took the time and energy to attend the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting and were ready to express their views. This was a rare showing of democracy in action; average citizens becoming involved and challenging investors who want to purchase the land, change zoning to multi-family, tear down a huge hill and build a massive rental complex.

Developers are not bad people and it doesn’t matter if they don’t live in Fountain Hills. They are astute, well-financed property developers who see an opportunity to make money. The property was for sale and the investors/developers have an offer pending. That is not anything new or sinister. That is how growth and business work today.

However, hundreds of residents who take the time and energy to study an issue, analyze it, decide it is wrong for their town and show up to comment at the meeting is a rarity. The meeting was postponed until Sept. 12, but these energized citizens are making a difference. They have begun a community discussion on how we want Fountain Hills developed. That is how our country has survived; citizens taking the time to be involved and express their opinions to our elected officials. Makes me proud and gives me faith that in these caustic political times, that we the people hopefully can still make a difference.