Speak Out Loud NA

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Everybody's Soapbox

Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement and motivation.
As I said, I want this to be a forum that everyone can use as their own soapbox. That way, we won't wind up with 50 or so different blogs out there so everybody has a way to make the point they want to make.
So, there is a way to set this up for those who would like to use this blogspot as a community source. If you want to post here (not just comment), you must contact me and I can add you on as a "member".
Note the name of this Blog. It is intended to encourage people to "Speak Out Loud". This means no hiding behind masks of anonymity. Let it be known who you are and what you have to say.
You can e-mail me with your info and I will create a membership for you. Let me know if there is a blog name you are already using, or one you want to use and I will try to make it work.
So, speak up folks!!! It's time we are heard.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Slip Sliding Away...

As the political powers that be fight amongst themselves, like children who never learned to share, we are watching our neighborhoods slip further and further into disrepair and deterioration. Despite valiant efforts of many common citizens, our leaders are apparently more concerned with political power struggles than they are with struggles to save the integrity and vitality of life in the inner city.
Cleanliness, code enforcement, crumbling infrastructure, neighborhood disinvestments and a ghostly downtown seem much less important than jockeying for multiple board positions and finding ways to blame the "other" guys for the mess we're in.
All the while we continue sliding down the slippery slope of bad decisions that ultimately snowball into huge unmanageable avalanches that wipe down everything that might be in the path of progress.
Well, I for one, am sick and tired of getting "dumped" on as I cling desperately to my allotted 50' at the bottom of that mountain.
It's time to step out of the shadow, claw, fight and kick our way up, and shout from the rooftops that we aren't going to take it anymore! Speak out loud and insist on being heard.
Of course we tried that didn't we?
Doesn't that kinda sound like some of the recent marathon City Council raucouses that began taking place last year and earlier this year?
That is, until the "powers" found a way to put a stop to it with the newly "elected", Mayorally blessed, City Council President whose first order of business was to impose a 5 minute limit on all who wished to speak before the council. Then the gavel will be brought down with a slam when your allotted time is up. I have expected they would have a guy in the wings with the old shepherds hook to pull folks away from the podium.
I haven't attended a council meeting since. What's the point?
But I wonder... Can we bring our own gavels? As I would certainly appreciate it if we could impose the same 5 minute constraints on certain members of the Board.
Now we are told to take concerns not to the City Council, not even to our district Councilpersons, but to the Board of Public Works, which so conveniently meets at 10:00AM every Tuesday.
Now there's an accessible forum for folks to get to.
Thus, I introduce this Blog Spot as a new forum to take as much time as necessary to have our say about whatever it is that the Political machinery in this town ought to be listening to if they truly give a damn about what their constituency has to beef about.
We will soon know who is listening and who isn't.
My first beef...there is too much power in the hands of too few people in this small town of only 37,000 persons. Why are all the same names appearing on every board and commission in the city? Why don't some of the people who have shown concern and intelligence about the current condition, and the future of New Albany, have an opportunity to participate in these various community forums as sitting board members?
Instead we have Council members sitting on 4,5 and 6 different boards. Considering their work on the City Council, I am truly concerned. Actually, I am more than concerned...I'm outraged!!!
Furthermore, how ethical is this practice? How can they objectively propose actions for other committees that then have to be approved by the City Council on which they are sitting board members?
Can someone please explain this imbalance of power to me?
Will they be required to abstain from voting on such matters?