Hickory -- A Lack of Creativity?
In Dialogue with Silence DoGood:
Just for posterity, let me make sure that I understand this. Hickory (Republic of) owns Crawdads Stadium, and the property thereon it finds itself. Hickory (Republic of) leases said facility to Hickory Crawdads Inc. or their parent organization. There is a provision in said contract, apparently agreed upon between the lessor and the lessee that provides that the lessee cannot sub-let without the express written permission of governing board of Hickory (Republic of)? Am I on track so far?
And that this lease was executed in 2008 between lessor and lessee and of the events that have hence been held on the premises, there has not previously been a problem until the Pride celebration tried, rather vainly, to use aforementioned venue as the locus in quo. Am I right up to this point, because I have questions.
So what I’m wondering here is, why is the parent organization of Hickory Crawdads Inc. paying a stadium manager who obviously doesn’t have the authority to manage the stadium? Why is Hickory (Republic of) paying a manager who obviously doesn’t have the authority to make decisions like this on a day-to-day basis in the general governance of the Republic in order to avert problems such as these? Would this even have been a problem at all had the event been a religious crusade on the grounds instead of a group of people celebrating who they are, without having rocks, bottles, and slurs hurled at them. How much noise would have been heard had “complaints” not been voiced to ‘management’ at the stadium? I likewise wonder how many of those complaints found their way to the Republic’s executive committee?
This has all the grace and eloquence of being tarred and feathered. Since there was a prior agreement with the lessee, all it would take on the part of management of Hickory (Republic of) is to make 6 phone calls to elicit a verbal agreement that it would be okay to proceed on the part of lessor, chalk it up to experience, and do it right from here on out, just like the contract calls for. For those that would contend that this would be underhanded and behind the scenes politics, was the lease read, voted on, and approved in a public meeting, or just calendared and approved without any fanfare or even an eyebrow arch? Would that violate the covenants of that contract? Not to mention that apparently, this particular covenant has already been violated in ignorance since this agreement was entered in to in 2008. But no, here the line has been drawn in the sand.
Here, Hickory (Republic of) chooses to hide behind a formal agreement that essentially has no premise for them to act except that they have reserved that right by codicil in a lease agreement. I wonder if they reserved the right to regulate alcohol sales at the Stadium as well? I guess not, or the ‘right’ people haven’t complained… yet.
I’m not gay, but right’s right and fair’s fair. My incensement as a result of this action is that it screams of being partisan and not content neutral, based on the actions of the parties. Acting in violation of the contract on the part of Hickory Crawdads Inc. and deliberate indifference on the part of the executive committee of Hickory (Republic of) since you know that of the events that have been there in the span of time from 2008 to now, not one council member or the attorney who drafted that contract didn’t know or have prior knowledge of that particular provision and chose to do nothing, until now.
Is any of that going to change what has transpired? No. Is it going to change what is to come? Oh you bet. There will now be eyes watching to ensure that this particular rule applies to every person, group, or entity that seeks to utilize that property, from this day forth.
The Hound's Deal: I do not presume to know exactly how the group promoting this event feels, but I don't think it would have been in the paper if they had zero problem with it. I think they proactively reached out to the HDR.
I am sure that you understand that I am not saying the City Government should promote a Pro Gay rights agenda. What I am pointing to is that once again we see inconsistencies and hypocrisy, because I don't think the people running LP Frans stadium have been asking permission from The City Manager or the City Council for every event that takes place there. That is plainly what City Manager Berry insinuated in the article.
That Creative Class piece I wrote over two years ago was one that got a lot of people thinking and discussing the subject of differences and tolerance with me. It was a subject that I talked about at a lunch I had with a Council person. That Council Person said that they didn't believe that there was an intolerance towards gay people in our area. Well, I had a conversation with a Professor at one of our local colleges and this person stated that there was a top notch professor who was gay and left Hickory because of the intolerance towards Gay people, including the professor who left, in the community.
I also am reminded of a person on Hickory City Council's comments during the City Council meeting when they discussed the issue of Hickory Alive. They didn't believe the city should "promote" drinking on city property. Basically they insinuated that the consumption of Alcohol on City Property (ie Union Square), even sold by a third party, was "promoting" drinking on Union Square. I think this mindset could be extended to a belief that the Pride Festival would be a promotion of a Gay agenda on City Property and that won't be allowed or tolerated. Never mind that the stadium can be used to promote any of a variety of other Religious or Cultural Agendas without question. This certainly opens a can of worms. Now they are going to micromanage the Crawdads and LP Frans Stadium?
As DoGood states above: There will now be eyes watching to ensure that this particular rule applies to every person, group, or entity that seeks to utilize that property, from this day forth.