Mrs. Nancy Willingham, it is not I who has constantly evoked your father, the former Mayor's name. Your father is no longer with us, but you certainly don't seem to mind bringing him up every time you enter the body politic. You did it when you ran for office in 2007 -- after you had not lived in the community in decades -- and you did it last year when you stood against bringing back direct ward representation. I never proactively evoked your father's name.
Times change Mrs. Willingham. This isn't the 1960's. It seems like those running this community want to take it back to some bygone, nostalgic era that wasn't as rosy a picture, for some, as they would like to paint. Ask African-American people in this community if they would like to go back to pre-1970. That is the reason why in Ridgeview they voted 250 to 5 for bringing back direct ward representation. Every precinct in South and West Hickory voted heavily for the referendum.
You seem to think I have written to harm your father, which has never been my aim. It is your group "Hickory United" that's been constantly vitriolic and evoked negative stereotypes in this community. Who or what are you attempting to unite? Certainly not the diverse ethnicities in this community.
The Citizens for Equity in Government's platform does not look backwards. It moves forward. Hickory needs Term Limits for Mayor and Council. We don't need 20 year Mayors and Council members. There needs to be accountability and transparency in how the city is governed. We need representation for all and not just for Hickory's most wealthy and connected.
Concerns and differing points of view do not equate to bitterness. I believe in the future of a Hickory that is made up of the melting pot of people I grew up with, work with, and go to church with. We see a lot of ongoing intolerance in our community. You seem to want me dismissed and ignored. Isn't it time that Old Hickory gives New Hickory a chance to show what they can do to move the community forward?
The Hound: I didn't want to print this here, before first giving the HDR the right to print it. The Letter to the Editor from Sunday by Mrs. Willingham was published in the HDR and so I felt it deserved a proper response in that forum.
On Sunday, I put an immediate response in this forum, because I was not going to allow the forum and the Citizens for Equity in Government to be damaged by mis-characterizations/representations. I have tried to think of what riled up Mrs. Willingham so much and have come to the conclusion that besides the "in general" support of direct ward representation and attempting to provide play-by-play and color of how that came about, I think she was upset when after the ward voting I said, "Now on to the Julian Whitener Finals" in this election. I was being a little humorous, but is that not what it is? Is the current system not the system that he fought for for over a decade until it was implemented in 1970?
There is more to say, but I've had this pretty much pegged from the beginning going back six years ago. As I said in the last article when I commented on what Pat Bowman had written in her Letter to the Editor in Regards to "CEG Candidates", "these people hiss CEG when they say it." They don't even know what those letters stand for, why the CEG came into existence, or what the CEG's mission is. All they know is that we have a different point of view regarding the way Hickory has been managed/led since its inception and believe it is time to move forward towards modern realities.
We believe the way Hickory is/has been run (more like controlled and manipulated) has had a direct negative impact on it's ability to grow and progress. No growth equals no jobs or economic progress... None of that equals no more money in your pockets... for most means dwindling wealth. The reality is that the status quo is not going to cede one ioda of power willingly.