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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thoughts about the Hickory City Council meeting - July 15, 2014

In the Chambers

Horseford Cove issue is about runoff and build up of silt and garbage.

Meredith & JD Ross pushing the old 70 corridor. Pretty positive message. Not asking for city money.

Larry Pope - Hank Guess won't take my phone calls. Larry didn't get arrested... barely.


The video below shows my address of council along with Larry Pope's and Tammy Abernathy's, which involved the Socio-Economic dynamics of the area. You will see a confrontation initiated by the Mayor at the end of Larry Pope's address of council. The Mayor has taken it upon himself to set the precedent of responding to what people say at the podium and the person is not allowed to readdress/rebut the Mayor. While the Mayor may be able to usurp the law, he is definitely violating the spirit of the law when it comes to people addressing the Council. HE SHOULD interact with people at the podium. He should not shut people down, because he doesn't like what they say or nitpick over what they say, unless he is willing to afford a dialogue. That is what adults are supposed to do.

People should be ruled out of order if they become belligerent. Larry was reacting to something that the Mayor has done many times to him.  Larry was not being proactively belligerent. The Mayor was not elected to have the final say on every matter in this community. If he wants to be a Judge, then he should go to law school, pass the bar, and run or be appointed to a position as a judge. His actions here subvert the First Amendment and are un-American.


My Birthday Speech

The Chamber of Commerce has a poll in which they are asking young people about ways to improve Catawba County and make it more desirable for young professionals. I have taken a broader look and here are my top 10 reasons why we aren't attracting young people to live, move to, or stay in the Hickory area.

10) In this community, young middle class and poor people have seen an enthusiastic willingness to cater to the older and more affluent folks at the expense of what would benefit them.

9) This opening generation of the modern 21st century reality says that it is a priority for them to have a role in making the world a better place. They don't want to live in communities where Control and Authority rule over Love, Empathy, and Kindness.

8) The Millennials want autonomy, but if they do have to work for someone else, then they want that person to serve as a mentor, not an authoritarian. They don't want to deal with old school, regimented, mechanical, simple black and white dogmatic mindsets... Bosses need to look at their workforce as partners, not commodities.

7) Young people aren't looking for a job. They are looking for a career. They want employment where they think the owner is in it with them and cares about their interests. It should be common sense and a natural derivative that if business owners take care of their employees, that employees will do likewise and the business will thrive, if that becomes the norm in this community, then this community will thrive.

*** And here are Six things that these young people and others can see about this community

6) This community's Powers That Be have demonstrated through actions a "Do as I say and not as I do" collective personality.

5) Career success is certainly more easily attainable in structures based upon hard work and merit rather than a social caste system based upon who you are related to and who you know.

4) Constructive critical thought is an asset and imperative to the success of a free and open society. We have seen the local Powers that Be take hostile actions against people when it wasn't necessary - just because people dissented or even asked questions. As though answering to the people would somehow lead to chaos.

3) We have seen a mindset where stories, messages, information, ideas, and processes must be controlled and well crafted. Being real and unfiltered has become the victim.... 1984... Thought Criminals.

2) People who attempt to control messages create bottlenecks on Information and Information is a valuable commodity in this age - the information age. This has created a hindrance to real Economic activity.

1) And last but not least, we have seen through disrespectful actions where this government has essentially told the people, "when we want your opinion, we'll give it to you."

We haven't lost the young people because of inanimate objects. We have lost them through actions. But don't take my words negatively... take them as an opportunity to evolve towards a better reality.


wandaarnold1716 said...

Thom, I think you are on the right track when you say that it is the mindset of the young people of today that is so completely different than the mindset of the typical employers in this area and this just might be the reason they look elsewhere for employment.
In addition to four other grandchildren in their twenties who are struggling to establish themselves, my husband and I raised a grandson who just graduated from college last year, so I have the opportunity to observe their struggles in establishing themselves. None of them have the inside advantage of “knowing someone” who can provide them with a job.
When first starting out, they can’t live by themselves because they can’t afford it. They need inexpensive rentals that are adaptable for a roommate. They need a way to find a roommate that has a similar lifestyle and won’t rip them off. (It’s happened.)
They need a job that covers their expenses, at least at first, and they need a way to move up because two $10/hr. part-time jobs won’t cut it without some help from parents. The apartment and the job are the essentials.
No matter how menial their jobs, they want to be treated as an equal by their boss, treated with respect and with empathy. Your #8 is really important. They don’t want to be treated as commodities by their employers. During the industrial age workers were commodities. Maybe Hickory is still influenced by that factory-driven mindset that made it so successful in the past; but times have changed. Employers have a tremendous pool of creativity just waiting to be used, if only they knew how.
These young people don’t expect all the possessions coveted by the Baby-Boomer generation. They are less interested in “stuff” and more interested in ideas. They are more idealistic. When I spoke to my grandson about how the previous generation was responsible for the dearth of current job prospects he said, “Grandma, I live in the 21st Century,” almost as if he knew what his situation was and knew he had to live within it.

Most importantly, the young people need to live in communities where there are plenty of other young people in their age group. Otherwise how will they find a mate or even a date? This is why we need to start with the college students that are already here, at Lenoir-Rhyne University, the Community Colleges, and the nearby universities. We need to do everything we can to keep them from moving away after they graduate, to make sure that appropriate jobs await them. Internships, mentorship programs, apprenticeship programs and continuing education programs to help them improve should be the focus of the city, not more “al fresca” restaurants. The city seems to have this backwards. Once the young people are here, private businesses will supply the venues they want and that prove profitable. “Build it and they will come,” is a movie fantasy and a very risky venture.

James Thomas Shell said...

Excellent post Wanda. Great addition to what I wrote. Very relevant.

Anonymous said...

Finally, what Hickory always has been is finally coming to light. Hickory now is no different from the Hickory of old. The difference is the tolerance for what is and the ability of the people to move away. And the higher the rancor against what is, the harder and more desperate those that are in charge cling to the power they have.

Rudy ain't much in the Mayor category, but he would have made a hell of a king, or minor Lord. Hickory is his little fifedom and he rules with an iron fist.

What he should do is sit there, let people have their say, and keep his piehole shut; it is the public commentary section of the program, after all. But no, he must throw his penny in to the mix and chastise or ridicule anyone that says something counter to what he thinks/believes/subscribes to.

He should thank people for taking the time to come and participate in government the democratic process, despite how varied and different their views may be from his own. He may not even like what they have to say, but they do have the right to say it. It is a recognized public forum and they are allowed to speak in the time they're allotted.

But His Majesty the Mayor will not tolerate adversarial viewpoints. Such heresy will not be tolerated in the fifedom.