Month: October 2010

In Response to Daryl Griffith’s letter to the editor

Recently Daryl posted a letter to the editor on the River Country Journal and after reading it I have a few questions and comments that I would like to put in writing. So here it goes.

I am Daryl Griffith, running for re-election for Three Rivers City Commission. You will, of course, have seen the letters of Mike Dunlap and his protégé, Blaine Edgell accusing me of everything under the sun.

I will admit that I may have missed a letter or two but I think I have captured and reposted them all here.

Where are the accusation that Daryl is speaking about? However since I could have missed one and may be wrong I will challenge anyone to point to me one thing that Mike or Blaine has said that isn’t true. Please post your example in the comments section.

I, as a voter, have always disliked such attack letters because they spend all their effort spinning the other opponent as the root of all evil forgetting to ever say why the candidate is the right person for the job. These indicate a candidate’s lack of issues & ideas on which to run.

Well to start with your protégé did put a letter out there that did include a personal attack in it. I am surprised that you didn’t condemn it in your letter to the editor since that would have shown the level of disdain you have for such tactics. A copy was posted and can be seen here.

I certainly have a litany of concerns with Mr. Edgell’s motives & history with the city but instead of slogging through that mud

It can be a very tricky route to navigate through the mud when you consider what has gone on at city hall over the last 5 or 6 years. There are multiple examples of where the city has mismanaged the business of the city and the mud is getting so deep that it is very hard to point it out without slopping it around.

I would rather take this opportunity to make known my goals and what I have accomplished so you can make your own informed decision.

Good but I have to wonder why you thought it necessary to bring up motives and history at all if you didn’t want that to be the focus of your letter. On the other hand I think the people who have managed the City of Three Rivers have their own motives and one heck of a history that pales in comparison to Blaine’s so I can understand why you didn’t want to dwell on it all that much.

I do have the luxury of not having to depend on the infamous “campaign promise”. Instead, I have a solid record I proudly stand behind to clearly show you what my priorities are.

I have a graphic that you can stand behind (proudly or not) from the BestPlaces.net website. You can see the full size version of that image and more by following the link. 

Three Rivers MI Economy Graphic

Three Rivers MI Economy Graphic

From the first day on the job, my primary goal has been to make Three Rivers a better place for the future of my children. To that end, Three Rivers needed economic growth, in short, businesses and jobs. I took every available opportunity to make Three Rivers “business friendly” and to foster growth. As you read this, there are 100 businesses open that did not exist when I started.

According to the graphic above we have a negative job growth of -7.17% compared to -4.06 for the rest of the country and it is predicted that we will 8% behind the rest of the country for the next 10 years. How do we get negative growth with 100 new businesses?

Our industries have partnered with the city investing over $83,000,000 into equipment and jobs via 25 win/win IFTs that I have approved. I have supported all OPRA applicants assisting commercial property owners to develop otherwise obsolete property with state grants.

Wow that’s a big number but I have to wonder how, specifically, that money was used to improve the business climate in the city. In other words what did the city get for that $83,000,000 worth of investment?

I supported the DDA with its revitalization of downtown and succeeded, after many years’ struggle, to enact a policy to favor local business for city contracts to keep jobs and tax dollars in our community. My opponent vehemently opposed this policy for local jobs & suggested we dissolve the DDA.

Are you seriously going to point to the Down Town area and claim success? I would also ask you this. Do you think the city should pay more tax payer dollars for a service in town then they would for a competitive service out of town?

I have been honored to play a part in supporting the men and women of our police department keeping our streets safe. They truly deserve to be commended for reducing crime every year since 2006. Across all categories, crime has dropped a whopping 49% in those four years, a tremendous achievement.

Crime has dropped all across the Country so while I would agree our local police deserve credit for the work that they do they do not have any control over the national trends. However since your brought this up though it is time for another graphic.

Crime in Three Rivers Compared to the US

Crime in Three Rivers Compared to the US

 So it seems in spite of the work that our Police are doing we still have some problems.

Last year I was proud to have the opportunity to support outfitting our fire department with the latest in protective gear, keeping them both safe and effective in their jobs protecting us.

I can appreciate that. I too, through my taxes, have also had the opportunity to support the fire department.

I have worked with city staff balancing every budget without cutting services. Indeed, we have been very successful at garnering state and federal grants to increase services and the quality of life. These have funded additional officers, equipment upgrades, park upgrades, the river walk, and several major infrastructure projects, just to name a few.

This could explain why are tax rate is so high.

Chlorination, will also be discussed in this campaign I am sure. The state has been pressuring city to chemically treat its already safe water supply since 1989 and last year chose to make this a mandate. We have initiated the project to implement the most economical option available and in fact have received yet another grant to fund a sizable portion of this project. My opponent has voiced agreement with this course of action taken by the commission.

Can we just spend a minute or two reviewing this a few posts from the Liberty 1st forum?

Safe water supply? Did we forget an incident or two?

My opponent and I agree we need change; we just disagree on the direction. To his defense, he has only been a resident eight short years and does not remember the nearly abandoned downtown of the 90’s nor the days one had to drive 30 miles or more to shop for all but the basics.

Nice shot at your opponent there but I noticed you got a little mud on your shoes. I do have to give you some points for the craftiness though. Besides 8 years is enough time to get a clue about what is wrong with this city and some of the problems like abandoned down town areas are not unique to Three Rivers. So one can bring experiences from their own cities when they come to this one. You may even make the argument that “new eyes” on the problem may benefit it more than the same “ole eyes” that have been trying to fix it for the last 7 or 8 years without tremendous success.

He does not know how far we have come.

What do you think he was born the day before he came to Three Rivers and has no ability to read up on anything that happened before the day he arrived here?

I believe we have made great strides but there is certainly more to do and additional challenges to overcome. I want to continue our economic growth and find further means to partner with businesses that choose to bring jobs to our community.

I agree great strides have been made but can you say without and doubt that those strides have gone in the right direction?

Google wants to change the politics game

It’s “shocking,” Google’s CEO continued, “now having spent a fair amount of time inside the system, how the system actually works. And it’s obvious that if the system is organized around incumbencies writing the laws, the incumbencies will benefit from the laws that are written.”

Schmidt obviously liked the word “shocking,” so he used it again. “It’s shocking to me to see how hard it is to take on any incumbency,” he explained.

“But Google is obviously one of the greatest incumbent corporations in America,” Bennett noted.

“Perhaps, but we don’t write the laws,” insisted Schmidt, who sits on the Presidents Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

Considering that Google currently “owns” search with somewhere around 70% of the market they certainly could change the game. I am just not sure that it would necessarily be a good change. For instance he goes on to say:

We’re at a point now in technology where we really can change the entire political discourse if we want to. Typical example would be that everybody here has a mobile phone. In fact, you have more than one. The fact of the matter is that in Washington, and I’ve been part of this for years, people write lots of reports about things. But they never test them. But with the mobile phone you could just ask. You could measure everything. And you might be surprised at to what people actually do versus what they say they do—one of the first rules of the Internet. So it seems to me that you could completely change the way that government works and the way the discussion works.

Believe me I am all for getting people involved in the political process but I have to wonder if the push should come from a business whose primary function is to dominate search (information)?

I guess it’s possible that Google could do this and still keep their search results politically neutral. However it would certainly be a tremendous temptation for them to taint their searches with a bias favorable to their business objectives and one that could end up doing more harm to the free market then the non-Google lobbyists are currently doing.

The complete article can be read here.

Note about comments

When I set up this blog my intention was to remove the comments feature and replace it with a link to the Liberty1st forum. I wanted to do this to consolidate the discussions that take place on this site, which in turn would help keep the threads from spilling over here and onto the forum or vise versa. Also and as a side benefit it would make the site much easier to manage from a “web masters” point of view.

However I never removed the comments link and after only a few days I have already received my first comment on the site (wishing me a safe trip out of town) . So after giving this some more thought I am going to leave them on for a while and see how things turn out.

If it becomes too much of a management hassle or if things start to sprawl from one area to the other I will remove the comments link as I had originally intended, which should, at least, leave the existing comments in tact.

Kennesaw, where everyone is armed by law

Kennesaw, Georgia, is Everytown, USA: a mixture of old wooden bungalows and cookie-cutter subdivisions, of seventh-­generation locals and Mexican immigrants. Its quaint, ­cobbled historic centre is lush, with low-hanging trees and chirping cicadas. The civil war museum tells the history of the local Confederate fight against the Yankees. At the suburban malls on a humid Saturday afternoon locals vie to park their SUVs as close as possible to the Target and Best Buy outlets, and queue for tables at Chuck E. Cheese’s and Applebee’s.

But this city, half an hour’s drive north of Atlanta, is unique: it is the only place in America where it is compulsory to own a gun. In 1982, Kennesaw City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring households to own at least one firearm with ammunition.

Armed by law! Now there is an ordinance I could get behind.