Monday, February 22, 2010

Why would I want to be associated with either side?

When I first started Conserve & Protect it was because there was a group of people in Richardson who were being attacked and had no way of getting their voices heard in the blogosphere. I figured that C&P would allow those different thoughts and opinions to be expressed...and for a while it did.

During the campaign I felt like we were able to show a different side of some of the candidates, and shine some light into the shadows on the Coalition; it created a forum for contributors to post wonderful insight and we even had some laughs (at Schnurr's expense).

But lately things have changed, and with the way some of you anonymous commenters behave, I'm not sure I want to give you a voice any longer. We've stopped standing up for the underdog and instead become a pack of wolves.

The comments on this blog have been going down hill for a while, many pointless personal attacks have been made, some of which I have even had to delete because they were so ugly and hateful. But then last week on David's blog, the wolves went after Bill Keffler's kids. His children had posted anonymously in defense of their father. They were then cursed at, torn apart and even had their facebook pages linked to.

Seriously? This is what we're voluntarily giving our time for? To create a forum for hate and venom? Tell me again how we are any better than the Coalition? Because like I said, at this point I don't necessarily want to be associated with either side.

15 comments:

  1. That Arkansas thing didn't feel right to me, either, Destiny. Simply pointing out "these messages were all posted from one group of IPs in Arkansas" would have been enough.

    I'd hope that my kids would come to my defense. I KNOW they would, in fact. And they wouldn't ask my permission, they'd do the best the could to support me.

    What I see happening: Any comment about City Council or City Staff on any blog gets a quick 200 word summary of ALL of the ills of the City. Slagovich, StarTech, golf cour$e, yadda yadda. And ya know what? That flood of vitrol, in response to every piece of news from the City Hall, makes the case for the Coalition: "The other side are haters. They don't do a thing but complain complain complain."

    There are MANY who don't just complain. The Jimmy Schnurrs of the world who ask clear, concise questions and know how to be respectful yet firm in their position.

    Then there are those who bi**h and moan and feel they are 'winners' if they prove that they are the smartest one in the room. That doesn't help at all.

    I'm sitting out this bond election fight. I have my opinions, and I'll share them as I see fit, but I'm not getting into the trenches with the nattering nabobs of negativism.

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  2. You really can say you don't support pointless attacks with a straight face? Wow that's rich.

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  3. Why? Because I give the Coalition a hard time? Is that what you're referring to?

    Sorry, but I don't consider too many of my past attacks pointless. I truly believe most of the stuff I have posted on here and I also believe my satire (when implemented) is quite obvious. Not to mention I've been very open when I find that I am wrong about things, and I don't consider any of my jokes to be about out right malicious.

    But perhaps you disagree.

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  4. I completely agree with all that you say. The discourse has become coarse and angry. Our government is to be respresentative and yet some of the anger comes from feeling unrepresented. This is one place to be heard and your humor makes everything more fun. Jimmy S. is an amazing force and that makes it doubly difficult to watch the elected officials who are far less qualified add to the disfunction that is our city. All of that said, we should model the higher road in speech and action. The vitriol does wear at the spirit. Thank you for addressing this, but please do not take your humor and leave the blogosphere. Nancy D.

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  5. There has been a festering of deep wounds suffered by the citizens of Richardson. The discomfort of salt thrown on it repeatedly by our mis-representatives continually acting without regard for public input would cause anybody with sense to scream in agony. Those throwing the salt fly us the finger and grin like a Cheshire cat at our inability to affect their behavior. Meanwhile, they spend the public money on their own entertainment, and bribe supporters with political payoffs. Then, they have the nerve to dangle the carrot of neighborhood projects in the face of the needy to lure support for more public debt to continue the madness. It is understandable that those most offended would melt into lessor souls, resorting to primal defences and offences spurred by constant antagonism. It is the same response any prisoner of government oppression would give. The time for accountability was the first minute of day one. Yet, here we find ourselves begging, pleading and cussing those who occupy the role of representing the very citizens they're abusing. If you don't think we can and should be doing better, from the response to the nonsense at City Hall to the behavior that brings the responses, then Richardson is not the place for you. Move on! And let sensible people sort out how to clean house and return our town to respectability.

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  6. Nancy,

    You bring up an excellent point! A lot of our frustration comes from the fact that we feel unrepresented. I could not agree more.

    At one point, early on, I know for a fact the council was reading these blogs. They were following along in order to get a feel for what the citizens were thinking and what was important to them. But due to the constant slew of negative comments, those days have since gone by the wayside, along with that tiny bit of blog-power we once had. Now we are nothing more than a small, grumbling group of fanatics that they choose to ignore.

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  7. This and a dime,

    You claim that you want to "return our town to respectability" but you feel the best way to do this is by stooping to the level of those you disagree with? Over half the stuff in the comments is far worse than any of the crap that was in their Voter's Guild.

    I'm certainly not saying I take the high road (barely ever), but at the same time I earn the right to my nonsense, by publishing my name next to everyone of my comments and ramblings....and whether you believe it or not, I do filter my words and am accountable for the ones I ultimately choose to publish, unlike many of you nameless contributors.

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  8. It is with deep regret that I failed to make my previous posting more clearly directed at those who engage in the destructive behavior maliciously without giving credit to those who try to do so tactfully. The "move on" part is pointed at those who choose not to approach finding a cure for the Richardson plague sensibly, along with the understanding as to why they have reached that depth of depravity. The perpetrators of original offence have the high ground. As long as they have control of the public resources, they will likely stay there. The public resources include activities they hide out of self-interest. Without transparency and openness, there will never be accountability.

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  9. As one who has spent an extraordinary amount of time, effort and monies to really understand how our local government operates, I have not understood how this council and management can be so far outside the laws that govern them. I have heard time and time again from staff that it is NOT their job to educate a citizen on public dealings. OK, we can go out and educate ourselves as reasonable, responsible adults. Right?

    Some of the agreements negotiated and monies spent are miles from the depths of common sense, ethical behavior or business savvy. It baffles the mind. Frustration has led to some of the disintegration you are speaking about, Destiny. I am highly frustrated by the lack of fiscal responsibility, transparency, ethics and the total shift of who is in service to whom.

    There are some really intelligent, good people who have taken some focused and purposeful slanderous hits in many ways from city hall because they have taken time to follow the document trail and disagree. This has bred some of the "pointless personal attacks" and the "pack of wolves" you refer to in your post above. Though some bloggers seem to be out of left field with their comments, there just might be more to the story.

    But you are right, they do not cast an intelligent and reasonable objection to the issues we face in this city. Some days I am really sorry that I took the time to look, but for the most part I see a huge need to affect change by fostering awareness in the issues.

    There are a few who believe that attending every council meeting makes for an informed citizen. Frankly, I felt that way in the very beginning. But I began to hear things that just did not make sense to me. I would ask questions and get a very vague and ambiguous answers. What is the next step, but to make an open records request. Seems reasonable when you are able to educate yourself. And you begin to read the documents. And the first though that comes to your mind is....what the heck is this! (Actually my thought language was a little bit stronger here!) That is not part of their presentation. Nor is that and where did that little deal come from. It was not discussed. Do you see the "don't worry your pretty little blonde head about it" kind of mentality to a community of very bright and intelligent people?

    Somehow the citizens have become the servants to our government and that has to change. From what I have been able to summarize, we are caring for the self-justified, entitled few with a promise of intangible, unmeasurable and 'still costs us money' beliefs of future property value. Do you think they really believe their own lies they spread to the citizens? I have wondered about that one for a long time now. Maybe it is just deceptive marketing with a twist. I seem to have a very different perspective on the purpose of local government and it's character of leadership.

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  10. Destiny,

    Looks like our run at proposing a conservative viewpoint has been hijacked. Somehow our attempts to question "questionable spending, questionable (and insufficient) accounting and questionable actions" by our former and current Council and City management team is too much for some to handle. Not only have those with mean-spirited intentions and agendas used our words to advance their causes, it appears that the City has hunkered down and circled-the-wagons in an unprecedented fashion (hiring a PR firm, hiring a new Director of Communications, purposefully delaying open records requests ...). The whole point of researching, questioning and speaking out was the shed light on the fiscally irresponsible behavior that is prevalent throughout City Hall. Over-the-top salaries, perks and benefits for a long-tenured City management (keep in mind that salaries comprise over 75% of the annual $190 million operating budget) that has led this City down it's current path of $300 million in infrastructure deficiencies, excessive economic development packages and excessive tax abatements for large corporations that too-often fail to live up to their end of the original bargain sold to the residents, back-room deals in closed sessions (one of which allowed our City Manager to pay himself over $250,000 in accrued sick pay in 2007 alone - since 2007, he has paid himself over $300,000 in accrued sick and vacation pay over-and-above his salary and benefits while our Deputy City Manager has been paid over $90,000 in accrued vacation pay alone in 2007-2009) ... The list goes on and on. What I have found, however, is that the overwhelming majority of residents not only don't really care, but they even seem to EXPECT a little corruption at City Hall and have no problem tolerating it. In fact, I have found that I have been attacked from "both sides" for raising my own questions concerning some of the items above. I'm labeled as a "crazy" from those that approve of the questionable things going on at City Hall and that have their hand out to get a piece of the pie, and I'm also attacked by some that are angry that I am not joining their cause and/or personal crusade against the current administration. My desire to better this City by seeking to offer conservative, practical solutions to problems I percieve at City Hall has fallen into a well of mean-spirited, deafning rhetoric. Like you, I question what good has resulted from my efforts. Looks like it's time for me to go back to being an uninformed, non-caring resident. If my taxes start to skyrocket or the City tries once again to locate a 70-acre sexually oriented business district a 1/2 mile from my home, I will simply move. No more questioning. I have my answers. Good times ahead!

    Jimmy a/k/a "RichardsonResident"

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  11. When I need to deal with a wooden structure, I recruit a carpenter.

    When I need to deal with a structure of accounts and laws, I recruit accountants and lawyers.

    Instead ya'll keep bringing fresh baked cookies and comic books to a gunfight and then wonder why your serving plates are broken, your comics are all torn, and those laughing at you are spitting cookie crumbs in your faces.

    Nothing wrong with a nice young gal with a sharp sense of humor serving as a herald and a focal point, but if any of you expect to get anything done in the real world your adversaries are dealing in you're going to need to arm yourselves with something more than sippy cups, free blogs, and wicked squealing farts.

    Go out and find you the professionals you need to get the job done and then put them on the hunt you've already birddogged for free.

    Without those real tools and intentions all you're doing here is piling up graffiti on top of graffiti.

    Walt Everson

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  12. This is not my job. This was a HOBBY. Worse case scenario, Richardson falls apart tomorrow- I move. And you know what? My life will go on because I live for much greater things than following all of the ins and outs of Richardson's local government. (Thank God!) I have 3 beautiful children and a wonderful husband---who btw, thought my Amir/shower joke on David's blog was pretty funny. :)

    Going into this I was just goofing around with all of my "graffiti" not sure that anyone would ever even read it, and I've been very blessed b/c it's really opened up a lot of doors for me, personally. I didn't know I was a writer before C&P, but I discover I am, which is something that'll long outlive Mayor Rapist Glasses. (had to make sure I said that at least one more time before the fat lady sings)

    I've made many great friends, and whether you believe it or not Walt, I think C&P enabled some people, even if only a few, to become more involved than they would've been without it.

    So thanks for your opinions and strategic advice, but honestly bond elections and entry portals are not my passion in life. It was fun while it lasted, but it's not fun anymore.

    Thankfully though, there are people out there (feverishly working- right now) who are willing to invest their time, money and the fate of their blood pressure into this city and it's dealings, so keep your eyes peeled, they are organizing.

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  13. Please don't leave us. How about a short hiatus, and then jump back on the horse again?

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  14. Unfortunately, Jimmy Schnurr aka Richardson Resident, is finished politically in Richardson. One one side you have the Richardson Coalition, Gary Slagel, John Murphy, and Amir Omar who all make fun of him behind his back, calling him "crazy" or part of the "tin foil hat" crew. And, on the other side you have those who think Jimmy hasn't taken a tougher line with this council.

    Sadly, Jimmy is just protrayed now as one of the many council "loosers" who is just sore that he didn't win. Too bad he didn't - Mark Solomon has been such a awful disappointment that the bench mark is now set at an all time low.

    My advice to Jimmy: build your constituency, focus on a few issue, and promote change (e.g. get rid of Slagel as both the mayor and councilmember - because ain't nothing gonna chnage until he's gone). This is the only way to be strong politically.

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