Yesterday, on the 11th anniversary, of the attack upon the World Trade Center, which took the lives of nearly 3,000 people, we as free Americans enjoyed Democracy in action. Another discussion too place between the two sides that represent different viewpoints in relation to this Ward Voting Referendum in which the official voting day will be next September 18, 2012.
As you know I support this Ward Specific voting referendum. Today in the Hickory Daily Record the No Coalition took umbrage about the fact that a leaflet was passed out to attempt to get out the vote in the Black community. I really don't understand what all of the fuss is about, especially when the No Coalition has been out in public trying to scare old people by basically insinuating that we are a bunch of communist subversives, saying that a bunch of Acorn outsiders are involved in our campaign and telling my fellow Republicans that this is a bunch of "Democrats" and we're sprinkled in with a few disgruntled Republicans.
In this discussion, Paul Byrd continues to beat the well worn drum about taking away 5 of his votes. Yes, Mr. Bird we are attempting to take away the Bloc voting system in this community, which has been used as a weapon of control against the Lower Economic Wards in this community, that has kept them from having their issues represented on City Council. Mr. Byrd worries about rancor on City Council going forward. The No coalition seems to support the 99% Consent voting, with no discussion, that takes place with City Council today. Under the present system there will be no rancor unless it is introduced by citizens and then Hickory Inc. will do everything they can to suppress the people when they challenge their authority. I am glad Mr. Byrd, and a few others, feel they are well represented. Our aim is to make sure the entire community feels they are being represented.
In this discussion, Mr. Brannock discusses the request for City Council Closed Session minutes related to the Airport issue and Riverhawk Aviation. Mr. Brannock received over 90 pages of documents. He had to wait 2 weeks to receive those documents. He was charged nearly $25 for that information. In that documentation were included legal information about the Cercil Brothers legal case. There was information about Randy Ingold's Estate settlement. There were issues about the airport that had absolutely nothing to do with the dealings with Riverhawk Aviation. So once again we have seen information requested and the city does not cooperate. And yet the No! coalition tells us that nothing is broken, nothing to see, move along, move long...
What we did learn from that Request For Information is that when the City goes back into closed session they are not taking minutes as they do in the open meetings with the City Clerk. Public meeting minutes are supposed to be documented and presented to the public as prescribed by North Carolina General Statutes.
Joe talks about the Rental property task force, in which this board was represented by a couple of people who own rental property companies and units. Persuasive arguments were made that won some of these people over and action was recommended even though a couple of the Task force members attempted to stifle these actions. These actions were brought before council and actions were taken by all council members even though one known council member had a verifiable conflict of interest. Time and time again we see these multiple hats worn with blurry lines, which to us represent out-and-out conflicts of interest. And time and time again these people with conflicts of interest do not recuse themselves from issues that directly affect their personal financial interests.
Mr. Byrd, over the last two nights, has even gone as far as to offer up that we might need reform going forward and yet he offers no solutions about how this reform would take place. The Yes group has unfortunately had to interject grievance upon grievance that we have faced in relation to this city over the last several years. Issues the public, for the most part, haven't a clue about. At the same time, we have followed behind with solution after solution. Do you think we are enjoying this? I can assure you that we are not.
They say don't throw the baby out with the bath water and we say somebody has kidnapped the baby, we aren't worried about the bath water. Folks, it is time to WAKE UP!!!
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