Dateline Dixon: What do the kids think?

DIXON – The city is serious about taking everyone’s suggestions for budgeting the $40 million settlement from its former auditors and bank it blamed for the Rita Crundwell theft.

Not only those who attended last week’s town hall meeting or those who send letters to City Hall will be considered; so will children.

Yes, kids, this is your chance to get into the conversation.

At Thursday’s town hall meeting, someone who works closely with the city shared his child’s idea in jest.

He said his son, after overhearing Dad and Mom talk about the settlement, interrupted by saying he knew what Dixon should do with the money.

“Build the world’s largest go-kart track.”

Those who overheard were struck with the cuteness of the idea and curious about what other children might say.

What is it the children of Dixon want?

Would they suggest the money be spent on popular projects in the works, such as the restoration of Veterans Memorial Pool or go in a different direction?

Administrative assistant Amanda Bradshaw said children should send their suggestions in letters to City Hall.

Police Chief Danny Langloss, a special assistant to the City Council, said the suggestions could be considered when commissioners and city staff meet for strategic planning.

The best suggestions could make their way back into my column and put into the ongoing discussion of how the money should be spent.

Call it crazy, but it reminds me of the presidential poll conducted by publisher Scholastic in schools across the nation.

Since 1940, the results of the student vote have mirrored the outcome of the general election all but twice: In 1948, kids voted for Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman, and even a newspaper headline had that one reversed at first. In 1960, more students voted for Richard M. Nixon than for John F. Kennedy.  

Maybe Dixon children’s suggestions will reflect something similar for commissioners and give them a window to their parents’ thoughts.

Several of the same faces show up at meetings and voice their opinions, but what does the silent majority think of what’s transpired? And what should be done?

Also, these suggestions could bring up new ideas that have not been considered. Don’t underestimate a child’s level of creativity.

If nothing else, it gives children a lesson in civic participation, Bradshaw said.

Children wanting to participate can email Bradshaw at or send letters to: Dixon City Hall, c/o Amanda Bradshaw, 121 W. Second St.