I have posted several times about the change to the county 911 system. I have tried to keep a documentation of some of the local news articles and such about various topics, as well. In today's Smithfield Herald, you will find an article on Monday night's council meeting and the vote to change to the 911 center for police dispatching. I was at that meeting and spoke, as I have documented here and was reported in The Selma News.
It is no secret that I have been unimpressed with a few council members over the past year. I decided to take an active interest in local affairs. It was a conscious decision on my part, though I have always had an interest in local, state, and national government. I have been active in attending as many meetings as I feel appropriate. I don't attend every one, since I am not serving on the council nor am I a reporter for a publication. I do try to stay on top of things and make myself and my perspectives known. Hence, this blog.
I dislike it when people don't take the hard decisions because of emotional response or attachment. This may be well and fine in your personal life, but when it comes to government and leadership, that has to be set aside. I have seen several decisions taken/votes cast based upon emotion and not necessarily what is in the best interest of the town. Monday night's meeting was no exception.
Here is the quote from the Herald written by reporter Jordan Cooke
Councilwomen Debbie Johnson and Jackie Lacy opposed the change. Both said they could not cast a vote that would cost the town's four dispatchers their jobs.
After the vote, Johnson wore a frown and shook her head. "I'm just not in favor of this," she said. "I hope that's been clear."
Yes, Debbie, it has been clear. It was OK for the town to lose four other job positions when looking to cut back on expenditures, but these four jobs that are for a duplicated service that we taxpayers are already funding in this county are a "sacred cow" to some. Sorry, but it is indeed clear that you have missed the part about being a leader and taking the tough decisions. It is no different for Jackie Lacy. Jackie, my dear lady, I like you. I really do. However, please, enough of the liberalism that has gotten the town into this situation to begin with.
The entitlement mentality that people are owed a living is one of the reasons why our federal government spends more money on payroll and entitlement (welfare type programs that are nothing more than redistribution of wealth) than should ever be. It is the same but to a lesser degree at the state level, then a step down at the county level. At the town level, it had better be gone when we have a huge budget deficit.
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I am going to write one more comment here that I know is going to be controversial and generate hateful feelings. However, I have been sitting on this for a while now. It may very well brand me as a "racist" by some people. But this has NOTHING to do with race, it has to do with common sense and gratitude.
The town is deeding the Harrison School building over to the Harrison Alumni Association. Just to make things clear, I have no problem with disposing of public property if we can not economically justify its holding or maintaining. The same for utility perspective on the situation. We should not have a piece of property if we have no great reason for using it. I do have a problem with granting the property to an association that is doomed to failure.
The school is no longer in existence. It WAS an historical building that was torn down in the 50's if I remember my reading correctly. The Harrison Alumni Association is comprised of people who are just that...alumni. Those alumni are by definition growing older every year and will be dying off soon. The school ceased operation in the 50's, I thought. Within the next decade or more, there will not be any alumni left and therefore no alumni. Why give the building to that organization other than for the sake of appeasement of a minority group?
The part that "steamed me" some was the borderline ingratitude that I saw from Council Member Lacy and another alumnus when seeing the plans and hearing the results of the survey (at the town's expense) of approximately half an acre of property slated for conveyance. The original conversation was for the building and some land to comprise approximately a half acre parcel. Twice I have heard whining that this does not include the tennis court or the tract all the way to Noble Street.
All I can say is "damn, y'all are greedy". Hello? It is FREE! You goin' to argue with FREE??? You could have gotten NOTHING, instead! If we hear another complaint about the size parcel that you are getting, than perhaps nothing is what you should get. The only way that the town should consider more land is if the alumni association itself pays for a new survey of the land, blueprints, etc. and all attorneys' fees associated with it. A little gratitude goes a long way.
It is bad enough that I had to hear your horrible music on a loud P.A. system that was louder than any train coming through town last weekend. And I live less than a block from the tracks! The off key singing and loud music scared my dog to the point that she did not want to be outdoors to "do her business" and frantically fought to return indoors where the sound was only slightly more bearable. We had to listen to that racket until 9PM. Most of the singing was like "nails on a chalkboard". The only saving grace to the racket was that the music content was not objectionable...just the performance.
Again, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with race. I know that the Harrison Alumni are all Negro. I couldn't care less about the color, ethnicity, culture, or creed involved. I am talking about conduct and attitude as well as the concept of donating land for private use.