1961 -- A lesson in Hickory's History - Hickory’s leadership in the 1960s was definitely not "all of one mind" and they seemed to never hold back in voicing their distinctive opinions. The decision to change the voting structure in Hickory was not changed through Unanimous Consent. The similarity that will be shown is that, like many issues we have seen lately with the current Council, there was no integrity of process. The end justified the means. The system changed through political maneuvering and did not allow the people’s will to even be taken into consideration. If the people are going to have their wishes suppressed to appease the desires of a small minority, then why should anyone expect the governing structure to be successful, when it isn’t going to have the support of a citizenry that they constantly undercut.
1967 - How we got where we are today - The different wards of Hickory have a multitude of socio-economic and cultural differences and this diversity needs to be and should be represented. Just because someone doesn’t represent a notion, idea, and/or mindset you understand doesn’t mean that it is invalid or radical. Different layers of thought lead to more creativity and thus ingenuity and innovation. Most of you will see past the interjection of the "One Man, One vote" issue. That has to do with apportionment and this issue had nothing to do with apportionment. If we were/are all the same, then why even have wards? They knew this. It was about control.
Look at the vote and it relates to much of what we see today. Wards 3, 4, and 5 voted against the At-Large system. That is Kenworth, Ridgeview, and West Hickory. Wards 1, 2, and 6 along with the Mayor voted for the change. That is Historic Hickory, Northeast Hickory, and Viewmont. Do you see the pattern?
The final thought that I would like to leave you with in relation to this article is the travesty that people weren’t allowed to vote on this issue. Representative Poovey wanted to make that happen, but Representative Mullinax talked about Home Rule. This is a technicality of words, because this wasn’t about changing a budget or some other administrative issue. This was about the structure of how people vote being changed by the people who are recipients of those votes. Hickory’s Charter is its Constitution and it should have been representative of the wishes of the different segments of the city. As you can see it wasn’t a cut and dried issue and thus the citizen’s will should have been taken into consideration after debating the issue thoroughly… Hmmm… The more things change. The more they remain the same!!!
The current City Council could do the right thing and schedule this Special Election and let the citizens debate this issue and have the vote and maybe rekindle some interest in Hickory's politics and governance.
Let the People Vote!!!
But if the Council won’t do the right thing, then please
Sign the Petition!!!
The History of At-Large voting in Hickory - The HDR articles and Council Minutes Documents
Hal Row's First Talk - CEG discussion about Ward Specific Voting - The Interview
Help Bring Fair Representation Back to the City of Hickory