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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hey Hickory -- Who said the following in 2009 about 'Quality of Life' issues? (Quote)

“...but we have to have jobs. Young Professionals aren't going to come here, even for quality of life and social/community involvement, if there are no job opportunities. We are in a quandary. We can market all we want, but we have to have jobs.”

As a Hound reader, who does not support this bond referendum, stated:
It is interesting to go back to some of the 2009 (Hickory Hound) blogs and re-read them. Future Economic Council, Transformative Leadership, Narrowing our Focus from the Fixing Hickory series. Our local leadership has been sitting on the answers for 5 years. Now they want $40M (not including finance costs) to make Hickory “a great place to live”.

Who made the quote above about Young Professionals, that basically says that, 'young people aren't going to move here for quality of life issues unless there are jobs.' In other words, this person was saying 'build it and they will come' will not work.

Now, five years later this person is pushing for a stimulus package that is the complete opposite of what he espoused five years ago. The person who delivered that quote was Alan Jackson, the original Chairman of Hickory Inc.'s Business Development Committee.

Fixing Hickory - Narrowing Our Focus Economic Stimulus Package for Catawba County Finalized (The Finale) - October 26, 2014

Remember the Federal Stimulus plan of 2009-10. Has it made the economy better? It has for a few at the top, but what has it done for the middle class down. Look at the people pushing this plan. Is it not the same Insiders that always benefit when the local government starts throwing money around?


Now, I was basically told I was Anti-Hickory and not objective, this week, and here is my response edited for the general public:

I am not an anti-city guy. If that is what floats your boat, then enjoy. If we are going to be honest and forthright, that is only established in certain circles close to the Whitener Building. Not everyone with Hickory Inc. has that big a problem with what I say. The numbers related to this Bond Referendum that I have laid out aren't conjecture, they come directly from Hickory Inc. sources.  I haven't made any of it up. It's mathematics.

You can't be any more transparent than what I have laid out about this Bond issue and what I have interpreted Hickory Inc. says this money will be used for. Here's something I want the public to understand about where I am coming from. The City of Hickory are the people that reside, work and have an economic interest in the community. They are the diaspora that have come and gone from the community and are involved in the community. It is supposed to be a government of, by, and for the people.

Studies, surveys, committees, commissions, decisions should always take ALL of the people into account.

What they call "the City of Hickory" and I call "Hickory Inc." is the business mechanism that operates the community; the local Bureaucracy and Elected Officials. Those are supposed to be the Public Servants of the People. They work for the people and are supposed to work in the interest of the people. This corporate entity, that is chartered with the State of North Carolina and sanctioned by the North Carolina General Assembly, is a business mechanism that was established to serve the interests of the community of Hickory. This Corporation has jurisdiction over the City Proper and it's ETJ and any business interests that the associated public trust invests in. In Hickory, that includes the water system for nearly all of Catawba County.

The point is that I am not anti-Hickory. I haven't liked the ramrod style of government I have seen here for a long time. Does anyone think I'm the only one?

When the BUST Hickory side mandates that we either do this or Hickory is done... well, I find THAT to be negative. Especially when these people are the people that had us, by their own admission, hunkered down. The same people are constantly Lording over us... telling us what will and won't work, while not allowing (sanctioning) much of the public to have input.

I have been to every City Council meeting since July 2008. I have been to many community functions, including that meeting Mr. Jackson is quoted from above, where the issues I have addressed have been presented. I have people that call me out of the blue to discuss issues. I have people I have structured meetings with to discuss these issues. I'm not just shooting off at the mouth. Respect is a multi-lane street.

A lot of the sentiment from people who claim the Hound is Anti-Hickory and not objective, seems to be "If you're not with us, you're against us." Is that a positive attitude? Is that objective?

The Hound's intent IS, and will continue to be, an inclusive and positive force for the people of the community.


Brad Haas said...

It sounds to me that you are implying that Alan Jackson is changing the direction of economic development in Hickory to benefit himself or "a few at the top." How does he or his business benefit? I don't believe that Mr. Jackson is an elected official, so it can't benefit him politically. Does he have a construction business that might get contracts? What's his motive?

Also, what would you do?

James Thomas Shell said...

I know Alan. He's involved with a lot of Hickory Inc. activities and local PTB activities, as is his sister. He can profit from this in multiple ways. And I am not pointing this out because I'm anti-Alan. I just want to see these folks take into account everyone in the community instead of the "Downtown" inner circle. And, on it's face, this seems to be a lot more than an Evolution. 'This won't work' flipped to 'this will work' without any real explanation.

Not being an elected official, how does he have so much influence in the community, when we all see that he does. He has been the head or involved in several Hickory Inc. committees; including the original head of the Business Development Committee.

"Factors of Influence"
1) Location of his business.
2) Heavily involved with Lenoir-Rhyne.
3) Heavy involvement with many Downtown organizations.
4) Connections with Hickory Inc.
5) Marketing

Now, one of the largest aspects of this Bond Referendum is the proposed Linear Park that runs from Union Square to Lenoir-Rhyne... Just connecting dots and opinion. Maybe not popular with some.