One of the most frequent comments heard about the plans to renovate Pear Tree Point Beach by Parks & Rec is that neighbors and/or critics were taken by surprise.

It is understandable that many of us are leading busy lives, with family and responsibilities. We run from work or school drop off or commuting to New York City. We grocery shop and do errands and laundry and clean the house.

However, if one wants to know what is going on with one’s own community, one needs to be engaged. We have written and published nearly two dozen stories on the Pear Tree Point Beach plans and the master plan process that came before it, including public hearings.

Clearly, those stakeholders are now making their voices heard. Engagement in the process is to be applauded, but also to be consistent.

This is also the case when it comes to town elections and public officials. Darien’s public offices up for election this year are largely uncontested. One option for those who are frustrated with a particular issue in town is to take action and get involved in the decision making.

Though it is obviously a little late this year to run for public office, positions open up on town commissions all year that require volunteers and help shape the decisions that are often subject of public criticism.

It is critical for those who are invested in our town to be engaged in the process. Learn about the candidates who are running for office. Learn what the various town boards, commissions and committees do and what is within their purview. In addition to keeping up with the newspaper, Darien’s Town TV79 is also an invaluable resource to keep up with town meetings.

The League of Women is holding its Annual Candidates Night on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. They are asking for public input on their questions. Submit your questions to lwvdariendebate@gmail.com.

We are a resource for the community as well. We are your newspaper. Is there something you don’t understand or want to know more about? Is there an area of news you think we are missing?

Do you have a news tip or any other feedback? We welcome your questions, comments and feedback. Email editor@darientimes. com.

Remember, as the League of Women Voters say — Democracy is not a spectator sport.