The following occurred when Larry Pope requested to be heard during the City Council Meeting of March 6, 2012. Mr. Pope states that, "When the elected mayor of a city interferes with the rights of any citizen, it implies corruption within city government. I feel this is the case with the current mayor of the City of Hickory."
"I am unsure but I believe that the District Attorney's office in Catawba County was contacted about this matter by outside sources and the victim of the alleged assault was told by the assistant district attorney that he was going to dismiss the assault claim because no medical damages were incurred."
... "I am unsure but I believe that the District Attorney's office in Catawba County was contacted about this matter by outside sources and the victim of the alleged assault was told by the assistant district attorney that he was going to dismiss the assault claim because no medical damages were incurred."
... "In my opinion, the Mayor of the City of Hickory did not want a department head that was established under the City of Hickory Charter being held accountable to such a charge. Once again, I believe that there is a possibility of corruption by the City of Hickory and the Catawba County District Attorney's office."
After Mr. Pope's comments the Mayor asked for a 5 minute recess and returned, in summation he responded, ""Corruption and my name have never appeared on the same page before and won't again if I can help it," Wright said. He said he intends to meet with his attorney this morning. "My attorney and I will look at this and see what can be done."
The problem is that there is a lack of trust and mutual respect in the City of Hickory related to governance and political gamesmanship. No one wins when this occurs and there is much collateral damage that results from these escalations and one upsmanships. No one is learning a lesson here - now or going forward. All we see are labels. It is understandable that people have to describe others, but labeling people to try to marginalize them only leads to hostility.
We are all human beings. We all have worth and we all have value. The Mayor is now saying that he is going to shut people down. That isn't the answer. What we need are town hall meetings so that we can separate these citizen discussions from these Council processionals as much as possible. Citizens need to be able to address their concern in an open and formal environment. My release of this event removes the "he said - she said" from the table. The only "he said - she said" occurs in limited one-on-one or city-citizen closed environments.
We can all contribute towards local governance and when we do it results in better community relations and thus quality of life. People talk, yada-yada-yada, about wanting this community to have an excellent quality of life. When they say people, who are they talking about? Are they being inclusive or exclusive?
This situation needs to be deescalated through a positive means, but my fear is that we haven't seen the end of these frustrations.