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.