I think we have both learned a lot from one another, but I think he has a lot more to offer than I do. I enjoy his perspective and his intellectual capabilities when it comes to explaining himself in detail. I am not going to name this person, but he is someone that is well thought of by the people who are working to fix the problems in this community.
Tonight he sent me an article from the Herald-Sun of Durham from October 28th entitled Raleigh has one of highest well being in U S Hickory N C has LOWEST .
Despite the economy, residents at Raleigh, N.C., say they are thriving and have the best of all worlds, reporting one the highest Well-Being Index in the country, with an overall ranking of 16, according to Gallup and Healthways.
Yet less than 200 miles away, residents of Hickory, N.C. are suffering. So much so that according to the Gallup and Healthways’ Well-Being Index, the city of Hickory scored dead last at — 185 — among American cities when it comes to Life Evaluation and Emotional Health.
The Well-Being Index is the largest behavioral economic database ever created and measures Americans’ physical, emotional and financial well being in real time. Since 2008, Gallup and Healthways have been taking a snapshot of America’s well being.
While unemployment likely plays a significant role in how the communities feel (Hickory’s unemployment rate tops 12.6%), other factors, such as access to health care, location, and public resources also play a role.
The Hound wants to ask how many of these surveys do we have to rank at the bottom of until everyone who is a supporter of the Status Quo has their Come to Jesus Moment?
This survey ranks us dead last in well-being. Well-Being is defined as a good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity; welfare.
There are people in this area that are still doing well, but the majority of people are stressed because the system we are living in is failing. If one looks around they can see the relative state of unhealthiness of most of the citizens in this area. Look at what they eat. Look at the foods that are available to our citizens and look at the restaurants that are busiest in our area. Do people eat junk, because it is what they demand or because it is what is available?
We need to find out what is going on around here with people's health. Do they exercise. If the obesity epidemic is caused by a lack of exercise, then what is the reasoning. Is it because of a lack of education on the issue, lack of availability of fitness opportunities, lack of time???...
The City of Hickory has already displayed an unwillingness to create an affordable facility for Aquatic recreation, which most healthcare professionals believe is the best form of aerobic exercise for all ages. The Mayor this morning on Hal Row's First Talk show on WHKY basically gave it a thumbs down by saying that we couldn't afford it and poo pooing a survey that he asked to have administered. Apparently he didn't like the way the questions were asked. Do we not see this exact form of manipulation and heavy handed administration with all of the Boards, Commissions, and Task Forces.
The information that I have been provided in regards to Hank Guess's Rental Property Task Force is that attempts have been made to derail it by some members of the City Council and Administration. People who were appointed to look at this issue have attempted to subvert the process and end any furtherance of the proceedings. Those involved in this subversion know who they are and their attempts wreak of individuals looking to protect the good ole boy network of special interests who do not want to adhere to the property code structure laid out and set forth by Council, administration, and staff. We have a local elected official who is an out and out slumlord and he owns dilapidated rental properties inside the city limits of Hickory.
What bothers me is that this violates the fairness that I have constantly railed about. I am tired of having to talk about the fact that certain people in the City of Hickory are not expected to respect the law, because of their status. That assessment has been verified by action and inaction pertaining to certain people and groups over and over again. Those closely associated with local governance should not only follow the rules, but they should be held to a higher standard.
We have seen administrative problems time and time again with tin eared cooperation over the years. The Airport Task Force, The Stormwater Task Force, the handling of the Drinking Establishment Ordinance in relation to the Cercil Brothers, the Randolph's situation... There are plenty of situations under this context that I have not exposed and I am sure even more that I have not been made privy to.
I have appreciated a lot of what Mayor Wright has said over the years. I like what he says about the Fair Trade issue. I like the way that he has shown a willingness to adapt to new ideas when information shows that the old contexts aren't cracked up to what they were thought to be. I think we are on the same page when it comes to moving away from the Retirement Village concept. I appreciated his energy and passion when it came to the Inter Basin Transfer.
I just hope that others will come to the table and realize that this community has headed down the wrong path on many issues. Some of these people are associated with local governance and others are considered Prime Movers in the community. The bottom line is that we are all stakeholders in this community, not just the hoity-toities.
The saying goes "Pride cometh before the fall." There have been too many special interests and individuals who are proud and think they are better than everyone else and their specialness means that they don't have to follow the rules. Well, the statistics and surveys show that this community is not doing well. You can live in denial, but in the end the amount of evidence is overwhelming and makes one look delusional to argue against it. So the best thing to do is join those of us who are looking for outside the box solutions in this fast paced, exponentially changing World.