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Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Hickory Hound is what the Old Newspaper was...

In the next week, I am going to be laying out a story for you. A story that took nearly a decade to be told. A story that was given detailed attention. A story that we are dealing with the ramifications of today. This story will show what we are missing. Real reporting with details and opinion. A different era.... A smaller Hickory... Yet, a more dynamic Hickory. A story where the participants points of view were expressed and where differing ideas were debated. A story which will show how the Hickory Daily Record operated under the Millhollands.

What you will understand after reading this story is that the understandings of today are not based upon the facts of history. What people need to understand is that we got to where we are today, because of that history of which everyone is ignorant. No one has told me yet why the Mayor in Hickory is voting on every issue, when the North Carolina General Statutes say that a Mayor elected by the Electorate is only supposed to vote to break ties according to § 160A-69. Mayor to preside over council. (1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1247, s. 3.)

We, as the public, take for granted how the local government operates without checking to make sure that they are following proper codes and procedures as established by the North Carolina Legislature. These are the checks and balances necessary to ensure that municipalities do not become corrupt. While I am claiming no issues of a criminal nature, I see issues of negligence in responsibility of fiduciary duties that are supposed to be performed.

R.Walker Geitner, who long ago was the President of the First National Bank of Catawba County, once made a statement about our local government, which is nearly verbatim of what I have expressed here on this blog. He said in a Hickory Daily Record article, which I will cite in some later works, "A city exists by permission of the State. It is a municipal corporation -- not unlike a private corporation, particularly a public utilities concern. Citizens are stockholders in the municipal corporation and each one has a vote in the Board of Directors -- the City Council."

The public is bumbling around wondering why they aren't being represented. Well you get the government you deserve. You don't care who represents you, then why should you expect them to represent you? Although it is our local elected officials duty to provide a fiduciary trust and look out for the well being of the entire populous they represent, if you trust others without checking up on their actions, then when power goes to their head, you have a hard time getting them (or any subsequent office holder) back under control; because a precedent has been established that they can do whatever they want without regard for the law.

Checks and balances need to be brought back to the political structure in Hickory. The Hound had to come into existence, because we don't have a media to ask the important political and governance questions of the day. That is supposed to be one of the major roles of the media -- the fourth estate of government. They are supposed to be a guardian of the public's interest. We have no local reporters that do any in depth research and we have local media representatives that are handed stories of relevance that they squash. We don't have any debating of the issues. You read the local paper or listen to the local radio station and you get the local establishment's view of the issues, which is typically overly optimistic about the economy and devoid of any self-criticism.... Everything is great and if we had it all to do over again, we wouldn't change a thing. Does that represent the reality of the world you live in?

I have been told that this blog is opinion based. I fully disagree. It is about much more than some general opinions. Look at the issue related to the City of Hickory Mayor voting. That is research and we aren't finished with that one yet. Look at all of the economic statistics that are cited here. Those statistics have changed more opinions than my own, because they are rooted in fact. Look at how we use Multi-Media to let people speak for themselves and delve more thoroughly into subject material relevant to discussions. Yes, I and We do choose sides of a debate. I have told you that we are advocates, but the Hickory Daily Record does the same and Hal Row does the same. They just try to create an impression that they are above the frey and non-partial, but let's all be honest, we all have opinions and our work is created through those opinions. Some of us are honest and admit it and others... Oh Well.


harryhipps said...

The "news"paper is owned by the firm of Winkin' Blinkin' and Nod. And the radio station is run by Sargent Schultz. "I know nothing, NOTHING!"
I've wondered about the apathy for years and there is one comment that I've heard repeatedly that I understand somewhat but don't agree with. And that is that "it could be worse".
Many people will cite the numerous problems, and some even know a little about why we're in the shape we're in. But they aren't living in abject poverty and since they aren't literally starving and homeless they don't feel any responsibility to respond to leadership at any level, local, state, or national.
Many complain about the heavy hand of government, the corruption, ineptitude and so on but talk is all you get. The idea of contacting their representatives (and by the way, who, exactly are they representing?), organizing, or running for office is a non-starter. It's complain, go on about daily life, then complain some more.
Problems will either get solved through work and persistence or we will wind up with tyranny. Since we no longer follow the constitution we are close now. We are seeing some indications nationally that we are reaching a boiling point. Where is the tea party as far as local issues are concerned?

Silence DoGood said...

Ever get the feeling that there are those that feel, "if I wanted you to have an opinion, I'd give it to you." The fact that this site exists is a tribute to the democratic process of a republic. I figured I'd better work both of those words in, otherwise... well, you know. The 'news' paper and the radio have been jokes for years. When you concern yourself with the bottom line and not with facts and what is going on, well you have what they're truly concerned about. It's about advertising dollars since we all know that subscriptions don't pay for the news and WHKY isn't on XM or Sirius.

People complain. It is all they have left when they are powerless to effect change or even be heard. As the complaints grow, so does the unrest. This blog would have probably been unthinkable 10 years ago. While there were things wrong then too, the audience wouldn't have been nearly what it is, nor more people receptive to the message.

I think the result of the issue of reverting back to ward voting and the petition is a classic example. No admonition of right or wrong by the leaders of this community. "Well, it's their right." That's what you get when you try to address something done so long ago and it has demonstrated itself inherently wrong. Notice how the Mayor let no moss grow on the stone as he raced to issue a statement concerning the formation of unions in the public sector. He agreed with that premise, supported it, gave it tongue time. So too we see what happens when elected officials agree or disagree with the things that arise that might run counter to their own personal agendas, regardless of who else it might affect or if it is inherently right or wrong. Only that it fits with their notions of what is and isn't. And if their notions match the current rules in place at the time, well, you've got an uphill battle in store for you. It's a shame that the people have to use the courts now to make their own elected representatives do what is right and what should have been all along. If anybody has a reason why that is, I'm willing to listen.