Hound Note: This is a post from anonymous poster Common Sense. This person doesn't want their name out in the public arena for fear of reprisals. I don't believe what they have stated below can be construed as being personal or with malice. It just makes clear/concise points about issues that are very much relevant to the City of Hickory political and social dynamic.
It is with great sadness that I must report on the passing of one of Union Square’s flagship stores – a Hickory institution, one might say. On second thought, passing may not be the appropriate term. For you see, what’s happening (or has happened) is far worse than a simple passing. The lauded Sally Company is packing up and leaving town (for greener pastures?).
Why does this even matter? Perhaps more appropriately asked is, how could this happen? Over her esteemed 20-year career of public service Councilwoman Fox championed such projects as the Hickory Farmers’ Market, organizations like the Downtown Development Association, and sadly the boondoggle that became "the Sails on the Square". She alone spearheaded Hickory’s effort to gain Main Street USA status (I’m sure it was something important) along with many, many other worthy projects to help promote Hickory’s very own diamond in the rough we all know as Union Square.
Sally Fox was certainly more than a well-wishing, policy-making, money-appropriating Council member. Yes!
Sally, out of her sense of pure, unadulterated civic duty threw herself into breathing new life into a revitalized downtown area. As an active member of the HDDA, Mrs. Fox saw to it (from her Council seat) that they received the taxpayer dollars needed to turn Union Square into what it is today – a sparsely occupied, over-priced, lacking-in-parking obstacle in ones way to the Hwy. 70 economic Mecca of Hickory.
Mrs. Fox also was a very vocal proponent of the Hickory Farmers’ Market being located on Union Square. The logic was circular (Rotary) at best. The Farmers’ Market is key to Union Square’s image and prosperity while at the same time Union Square is the only place to properly showcase an event such as the Farmers’ Market.
In the past, some have viewed Mrs. Fox’s involvement with the HDDA and Farmers’ Market boards, coupled with her position on City Council, as a potential conflict-of-interest. Balderdash!!!
How could she possibly be expected to help Hickory’s business owners succeed and families prosper, if she didn’t flourish first? Mustn’t one learn before one can do?
So what is the bottom line here? In Mrs. Fox, Hickory had someone that did promote (some would say single-mindedly) the downtown area. For much of her 20 years she argued and pushed for more City spending to be directed toward Union Square – after all it is the heart of our City, our front porch, our identity – and now after having left office a mere eight months ago, Mrs. Fox and The Sally Co. have left Union Square.
One of two things must be true. First, despite all of the public attention and taxpayer-funded investment in downtown, it simply hasn’t worked. I’ve always held the opinion that if spending more money on a problem solved it, then let’s just go ahead and solve the problems. As we know though, simply throwing more money at a problem in no way guarantees a solution. The second possibility is this – Mrs. Fox’s dedication to Union Square was solely self-serving. Since leaving public office, perhaps there is little cache’ that she can direct downtown (to her store) and it’s just not worth hanging around. But, who am I to say. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.
On a completely different note, I cannot pass up the opportunity to call Sally Fox out for what can only be categorized as being unashamedly two-faced. Now this may not surprise many people, as most already believe politicians to talk out of both sides of their mouths, but Mrs. Fox's actions/words simply disgust me. Over the past year, I have known her to express a most decidedly unfavorable opinion of Mayor Wright. Sidenote: This may stem from Mayor Wright having publicly espoused his opinion(s) of Councilwoman Fox in a recording I came across here on the Hound.
Regardless, Mrs. Fox is unmistakably not happy with the Mayor’s ability/style/etc. Now, given her personal feelings toward the Mayor – which she has made known to people publicly over the past year – how is it that she co-hosted a fundraiser for the Mayor during last year’s municipal elections? For Shame!!!!!
Mrs. Fox, I, like many, had high hopes for you and what we once thought you could bring our community. You began with a passion for people – a desire to build up our City from its heart, our neighborhoods. And to an extent you did succeed. But, you simply stayed too long. Twenty years is too long to serve in public office.
Why? You compromised.
You became pigeon-holed, relegated almost, to being the Union Square representative. And to get what you wanted Union Square to have, you were willing to turn a blind eye to many of the other struggles faced by others in our City – struggles I know you to have still cared about, but were unwilling to tackle for fear of….well, I don’t know what. At the very least it is unfortunate – although I take it a bit further and say inexcusable.
It’s sad to think of what Hickory may very well look like today, were you willing to hold tight to your convictions. Were you willing to stand up to Rudy. Think what could have been?
Hound Note: After this, what I'm thinking is, "Who's next?"