Google Groups
Join To Get Blog Update Notices
Visit the Hickory Hound Group

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Subterfuge and Obfuscation by Hickory's Insiders -- Silence DoGood

I find it interesting that all of sudden there has been a flood of posts here at The Hickory Hound. Some of those posts have been quite critical of the stance and views expressed thereon. I find the timing likewise of particular interest given what transpired at the last City Council meeting and the level of derision attached to it.

Did anyone happen to notice how the level general to specific pattern of information and how quickly that matriculated in the threads of December 21st and 22nd? Did anyone notice how all of a sudden the base topic of discussion was suddenly not about how the meeting of December 20th played out and how a presentation suddenly became a budget amendment and a project adoption to spend $300k of taxpayer dollars, but about how someone had endured personal hardship while erstwhile comparing themselves and how they endured without public transportation, supporting a non-working husband for several years, and raising a family. How the owner and primary author of this blog site was chastised for not being involved in committees and boards. How Thom Shell has some misogynistic tendency and I have yet to understand where or how that comment interceded itself in that entire exchange. How money for a pool for poor people was a waste of funds and according to the poster, would only be utilized by a “couple dozen” kids. Then argues the placement of the Farmer’s Market was strategic to serve those same people. Then this same writer goes on to talk about specific budget appropriations for something as archaic as sidewalks. How would Anonymous know that? How would Anonymous know what Fund that money is appropriated in to, out of, and how it is broken out to specific communities, since in a standard line item budget, it isn’t appropriated in that manner, but in lines under generalized headings. To learn of specific spending projects, one would have to read the Manager’s budget message to council. How would Anonymous know that the vendors participate in a survey to determine quantity and type of vendor to be allowed into the Market itself. Did anyone else notice? Was anyone else as confused by this diatribe as I was?

Well you know I don’t mind criticism. I don’t mind being wrong, if in fact I am proven wrong; I just don’t like being wrong. I don’t even mind opposing points of view, since a singular perspective is one dimensional. I find it odd that Thom and others are told how patently wrong they are by an Anonymous person on a completely unsupported basis. I find it odd that Anonymous must make this about them and interject self into the debate with no relevance whatsoever. I find it peculiar that Anonymous uses the present location of the Farmer’s Market to foment the opinion that it is accessible to the people who need the foods and services being sold and then, argues that building a pool for a couple of dozen kids is a waste of money a few blocks to the south. It would likewise seem that, according to Anonymous, the majority of citizens are opposed to public transportation as well. Really. According to whom? What poll or survey are you quoting to substantiate that premise?

I’ve shopped at the Farmer’s Market and enjoyed the experience. Most of the actual farmers share in the same kinds and types of fruits and vegetables. But I’ve also made other observations. While fresh flowers is certainly farming of sorts, I’m curious as to who, in that target market Anonymous speaks of, buys fresh cut flowers? Or little do-dads and gee-gaws and what agricultural process it is that produces said do-dads and gee-gaws, particularly those of the porcelain and glass variety. I’ve also wondered how many of those vendors take or accept EBT cards. Since more and more people are out of work these days and are forced to rely on alternative means for the basics of subsistence, like food, how many of those vendors accept that type of payment, since all of the ones I’ve dealt with only accept cash. Too, there is the paradox of cost. Do you pay 2 bucks a pound for fresh tomatoes or do you buy two 15 ounce cans of tomatoes on sale at a Grocery Store for much less?

No, it isn’t about allowing those folks spoken of by Anonymous access. One has but to canvass the parking lot on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning to gain a sense of who is utilizing the Farmer’s Market and in what areas their domicile is located. I likewise understand that in political parlance, it is very often popular to say one thing, all the while intending something else. Ala, Farmer’s Market downtown. Limited space, access, and parking coupled with absolute control of the vendors and the wares. Any expense of which is offset by the taxpayers. Who is this a good deal for again? If you’re one of the selected vendors, it’s not a bad deal. If you’re one of those who frequent the market during growing and harvest season in pursuit of those things organic and home grown, it’s not a bad deal. But if you’re poor, then your options are typically to get the most you can with the amount of money you have. That means lots of starchy foods, prepared and processed foods, and sugary foods. I’ve not seen that stuff being hawked by the ‘Twinkie’ vendor at the Farmer’s Market.

I was really going to lay it on hard over the comments made by Anonymous across Wednesday and Thursday of last week. But in reality, it’s not altruistic to condescend pathetic. I think that those that read here on a regular basis know the questions being posed are insightful and relevant. I think the viability of those questions stand as testament to the duplicity with which Anonymous wrote in her series of posts. I guess I should add that there is no way of my knowing the same person posted them across the two days, although given the logic of the argument, that is certainly a reasonable conclusion.

In the final analysis, let us not lose sight of what it is being called into question. The way that the sitting council can spend money carte blanche without public hearing, insight, or giving anyone an opportunity to speak, pro or con, on an issue prior to adoption or action on that matter. The fact that the Mayor may and often does, in his/her capacity, make their own motions, only to be seconded by another board member and then rubber stamp voted into action. The fact that this council chooses to hide behind the rules when it suits the opinions held by them and ignore them on the same premise.

No Anonymous, it’s not about a pool, or a Farmer’s Market, per se. It’s about procedure, it’s about compliance with State law, and it’s about doing what’s right. Realizing that what’s right isn’t about what’s right only for the majority, or the well-connected and affluent.


James Thomas Shell said...

I enjoy differing points of view DoGood. What is even better is when someone comes on here and creates an emotionally distraught trainswreck, because it gets even more people to read the information.

Sad as it is people love that stuff, then they read the information and spread the word about our audacity. Who do we think we are.

I'll tell you who we are. We have this sledgehammer, which is imbedded with knowledge and openness, and we are here to bust up the "good ole boy" status quo.

I'm sure I'll get chastised for saying that, but guess what. This blog is growing and the reason why it is growing is because it is the only place that people who desire information about what is going on in this community can get it with depth and discussion.

The reason why the "Big Tent" was so easy to pass was because "the boys" wanted to appease the ladies and their supporters who were upset by the "conceal Carry in the parks" going against their wishes and to get the two Alders who stood up against the Airport shenanigans to go along to get along and not talk about the Mayor's dealings in that debacle.

Once again, you have to look at the big picture and the pieces of the puzzle and how they fit together. They couldn't chance the public getting word of this expense and where that might lead. The pool experience taught them that. The community wanted aquatic recreation. The Council did not. How did that end?

With this, $285,000 goes to build the big tent. The ancillary expenses related to this, such as drapes to close it off, heating devices when it is closed off, marketing and promotional literature, and branding signs will cost tens of thousands more. Then there are unanticipated costs and overruns that will cost tens of thousands of more dollars.

Remember that we will remember all of this and this will be the only place that it will be reported on in this community.

harryhipps said...

DoGood, all I can say is Right On!

By the way, isn't it a real irony that this project for the farmer's market is the ONLY Big Tent they're interested in? lol

Silence DoGood said...

I suppose they could have gotten a used Circus tent Harry. But I'm likewise guessing that the Circus would have insisted on a package deal. You take the tent, you take the Clowns. But that would have been a deal breaker; Hickory has enough Clowns already in control of things.

How's that for a political satire metaphor?!?