From the Editor,

The opinion page has long been a staple in newspapers. During the heyday of the industry, there were even full-time columnists employed to fill its pages with their thoughts on the local political landscape or national debates.

For whatever reason, the page developed into a space that was used to tell the reader what he or she should think, which, in our opinion, is the exact opposite of what this page should provide.

This page is designated for you, our loyal readers, to let your voices be heard. At least, that is what it will continue to be used for in the Daily Light.

Our four-person editorial team — which consists of Andrew Branca, Ashley Ford, David Dunn and myself — would rather dedicate our time to covering the events, news and athletic achievements that make this community special. We have no desire to tell our readers how to think. Our job is to provide the news, from both sides, without bias and allow the reader to determine where he or she stands on the topic.

That is where this page comes into play.

If a story read on our pages or online should ever compel you to take a pen to paper (or keystrokes to email), it will be published on this page. For those of you who are heavily involved (or opinionated) on a regular basis, we will share those thoughts with our audience, as well.

The header on this page reads "Opinion," which is true. However, it is not our opinion that matters. It's yours. Use this page as your soapbox, sounding board or think tank — we encourage it.

There will be times when Andrew or David publish movie reviews on Fridays or that I decide to put an athletic feat into column-form inside the sports section. Ashley may even find a topic that she is compelled to write about down the road. But those are few and far between.

When letters to the editor run dry, or community columnists take a break from time to time, we do have to fill this page with something. GateHouse provides us with syndicated columnists to choose from in those instances and we attempt to select columnists from both sides of the political spectrum.

But, seriously, we would prefer to hear from our readers than someone behind a desk in D.C. or Austin.

Whether you want to write about a recent ordinance passed by the city council or maybe one that failed in front of the school board, or even something that tugged at your heartstrings while at The Optimist during a youth baseball game — we want to read it and so do your neighbors.

There is no length requirement — a letter can be 15 words or 1,500. We just ask that, if at all possible, letters be submitted via email, either in a Word document, Google document or typed in an email body. This greatly helps our staff, as we do not always have time during the week to re-type handwritten letters (and sometimes cannot always decipher all of the text). We also understand that some of our readers do not have access to a computer or the internet and will continue to accept any handwritten letters.

We hope this letter helps to explain why there are so few columns written by our staff and that it encourages you to let your voice be heard (or read, rather). We can't wait to share your views of our community with our neighbors.

Please submit all letters to tsmith@waxahachietx.com or 200 W Marvin, Waxahachie, TX, 75165, Attn: Travis Smith. We can also set up a computer in the office for anyone who would like to utilize that option to submit the letter. All letters must include a name, address and contact phone number so that our team can verify the submission. Only the name and city will be published.

Thank you and happy writing!

Travis M. Smith, managing editor