The Maple Street Soap Opera

This week on the Maple Street Soap Opera Cody Sharpe responds to my recent Face Book post.

 

Okay if you find yourself at this post and you are not interested in the neighborhood soap opera that has taken place between Cody Sharpe and I you can skip right past this post. However if you are hanging on to the edge of your seat wondering what happened after the Face Book fracas. This is it.

Shortly after our last post on Face Book he posted this on his political site. Sorry I couldn’t find a perma-link to the post but right now it is the second post on the page. Scroll and you should be able to find it complete and uncut. Below is my response to his post cut up into blocks of text. Other then cutting it up I did not edit, remove or change his words in any way. At least not intentionally.

So here it goes…..

It has come to my attention today that an ongoing dispute with several area residents has reached social media.

Several?. Are there more? I thought I was it.

While I will not attempt to suppress the right to speak

The beauty of the internet is that it is next to impossible for any one person or organization to suppress speech for any length of time. People who yearn to be free will always find ways to get their words out.

While I don’t claim to be any great freedom fighter I do now how to get my words on the internet. So to whoever went to the trouble (probably really wasn’t all that much trouble but…) of having my post removed from Face Book for violating its standards I would like to thank you.

Admittedly, at first, I was a little taken aback. It is my belief that I didn’t do anything wrong and that all I was doing is saying words that I believe to be true about a man running for a political office that will have impact on my life.

At the point it happened I was reminded that this was the second time that someone thought they could use the “power to suppress” to shut me down. The first time it happened it was the City Commission of Three Rivers who thought that removing the TR Forum would quiet the opposition to their Bill Gothard inspired governmental propaganda they were trying to push on our schools, our workplaces and our places of worship.

If you weren’t around at the time, which was somewhere around 2001/2002 that was the original spark that started Liberty 1st.

And now a new spark has given life to the site again.

I will address certain rumors that are being propagated and perpetuated by these voices. In addressing these falsehoods, it is my hope that we can put an end to the continuous discrepancies and lapses in communication once and for all.

I am not sure if you have multiple people calling you out or not but I don’t what you mean by continuous discrepancies and lapses in communication. I didn’t even know your name until last week. And the first time I said anything about on Social Media about you was yesterday.

Admittedly when I did the flood gates opened and multiple people told us many things about you. However, even with that information, I don’t think you will find one instance of me talking about any of the rumors or allegations online. I think I have been very clear both on Face Book and with the follow up conversation you and I had on Messenger today about what my issues are with you.

And before you say it, yes, Ronda did mention a few of the allegations but I will tell you this about Ronda. She is a fierce woman and the fact that she only mentioned those and didn’t go into more detail is truly a testament of her relatively new found self control because just 10 years ago the outcome would have been much different then it was today.

The question of whether those “rumors” and “allegations” are relevant today really depends a lot on one’s perspective. And I am of two minds on this. On the one had it may show patterns of behaviors that could predict how you would behave in office. And on the other hand I am very aware that context matters and that I wouldn’t want the entirety of my life to be judged by any 15 minute segment contained in it.

For now I think (and I only speak for myself) I am going to stay focused on current events and leave the rest in the past. However this is not any kind of promise from me. You are running for a political office and the context of any of those situations could be relevant.

And to be clear, just in case, anybody is wondering I am not talking about what people do in their personal life. I am only concerned about actions carried out in public settings.

I will say I do appreciate your offer and willingness to sit down and talk to me (or anyone) about these rumors and allegations. In my experience that is an effective method for dealing with these kind of matters.

I have attempted to resolve this dispute through civil discussion to no avail and, when this discussion did not work

So on this one I am going to take issue with you. There was not one attempt that I know about until I called you out on Face Book. In fact I am pretty confident that you admitted this in one of your posts there earlier today.

I have involved the police on several attempts to put an end to the whole misunderstanding, and again I would like to be clear that this is what we are seeing: a misunderstanding.

Again, maybe a nitpick, but this was not a misunderstanding. This was you using the power of the police to get back at me because my son had exchanged some non pleasantries over the use of fireworks on the Fourth of July.

When I was made aware of my sons actions I made it clear to him that this is not how we expect him to act while he is at our house.

And to be completely frank I cannot say how serious he took me at that time but I will tell you now he takes me very serious on this matter and if he ever says anything to you or your wife again I want you to make me aware of it immediately.

I have not incessantly involved law enforcement, simply when I perceived the situation to be beyond the point of my own conflict resolution skill set.

Once again I am going to take issue with you here. You HAVE incessantly involved law enforcement and one only needs to check with the police to confirm what I am saying here. And I have to wonder about the conflict resolution skill set you mention because you never attempted to talk to me once before today. And lets be honest. I kind of forced your hand on that one.

The rumors which are being circulated are nothing more than that; rumors which have been twisted beyond fact into a sort of character assassination attempt that finds no basis in fact or logic.

Again I am confused because it is not really clear to me what you are referring to. If you are talking about what Ronda said a FOIA request will clear that up so if it is a rumor you have nothing to worry about.

If it is old and out of context, again you have nothing to worry about. It could be your best opportunity to clear it off your plate once and for all.

If it is something else you are referring to or someone else you are talking about you are going to have to clarify specifically what the character assassination attempt was or I can’t really address this.

Much of what has been spread is hearsay with no grounding in reality, and therefore I will not directly address it.

Then why bring it up? If someone was saying something about me that had no grounding in reality I would relish the attempt to clear the record. Having said that I will repeat that I have no interest in discussing anything that is not relevant to your run for office.

For my part, I welcome discussion about where I have come from, who I am, and where I am going.

Good because with my very limited Googling Skills I didn’t find all that much about you. Where do you come from? Who are you? Where are you going? I am genuinely interested.

Any misjudgments in my past remain there, while I remain firmly committed to serving the residents of St. Joseph county with transparency and honesty.

I hope so but at this point I don’t think we are off to a good start.

I have faith that in the coming weeks and months ahead, we can continue to work together to achieve the sort of partnerships that best lend themselves to this transparency– partnerships of character, of understanding, and of truth in the face of vitriol and cruelty.

Am I really the face of vitriol and cruelty? I had no idea.

In the meantime, I invite your earnest correspondence at any time and look forward to speaking again with you.

At this point I am not sure if there is anybody following along with this anymore because much of this is just a rehash of what was said on Face Book. But if you are still here you may be interested to know that after Cody had posted this on his site we had a private conversation via Messenger where we have both agreed to settle the neighborhood dispute between us and that anything going forward will be in the context of his political ambitions toward the District 1 county seat and nothing else.

Comments

  1. Well I have read it. There is as much to be learned about a person by what they do and what they say as there is by what is not done and not said.

    I was drawn to this and very interested because the name and person of Cody Sharp is wholly unknown to me and I always do my research prior to voting.

    Further, I’ve known Buck Hicks a very long time and Buck DOES have a very credible, upstanding reputation for telling the truth and fairness. I don’t always agree with him politically, but I can always respect his position and sound arguments.

    Thank you. The County Commission is already a troubled ground, and I don’t necessarily feel the best decisions are being made by the current members, but having visited Cody Sharp’s political page and studying both what he has had to say and his bullish style, I don’t believe that is going to help improve our current County Commission.

  2. Sarah, I will agree with you that our current County Commission is already on troubled ground. I can assure you I have had great discussions with those running in other districts both current and new, we have talked about working together for the good of the citizens. I invite you to get to know me more as I have great ideas that will help everyone.

  3. Also I will address where I have come from and where I plan on going. I am the 2nd oldest of 5 kids. I was born in Coldwater and due to parents splitting up when I was younger, we moved around a lot. I have been in Michigan for 10 years and a resident of Three Rivers for 4 years. I am a graduate of KVCC Fire Academy and I am currently pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice/Pre-Law with the intent on becoming a lawyer. I want to eventually open my own practice where I can fight for the rights of those that can’t afford an attorney. Unfortunately our current justice system needs improvement and sometimes innocent people go to jail for crimes they didn’t commit. I am currently married and just had our first child last August. If there is anything else Buck you would like to know, feel free to ask.

  4. Sarah, I would indeed caution you on this candidate. From my own personal experience his conflict resolution mode of operation is to call the police for the most minor of issues and if the police do not respond in the manor he wants he then verbally attacks and tries to bully them. Besides the dozen police calls he has stood outside and taken pictures and video of our house, cars, and god knows what else. Several of my neighbors are furious at having visits from the police for a car horn honking or music playing on their own properties. I rarely leave my house after I get home from work because I do not want to leave my children and grandchildren without my protection.

    The fact that this candidate states he wants to be a lawyer is terrifying. The justice system is corrupt enough without him adding his own special brand of “fighting for justice”. An example of this is on the fourth of July when the “candidate” called the police for my boys shooting off fire works he screamed at the police when they deemed no laws were being broken. My neighbor shared with me that he was coming to the sidewalk and road picking up used fireworks and throwing them in his yard. At first I couldn’t believe that anyone would behave in such a manner. But as I was able to watch this individual I can truly believe such a thing occurred.

    It is truly a shame that this individual has moved into our neighborhood. Every day we wait for the police to be called and are not really comfortable being outside our house as we feel every move we make is being recorded. No one should have to feel held hostage in their own home and constantly under stress waiting for the next police visit. I would like to say that I applaud and feel badly for the Three Rivers Police. They have to respond to this candidates ludicrous allegations. Every officer has been very kind and extremely professional when coming to our house. I truly appreciate each of them.

    1. The video that I shot was of your son shooting fireworks directly at my house, the church on the corner, the vacant house next to mine, and the house directly across the street. I was obviously upset as I have a small child in my house and fireworks have caused houses to burn down. It was later determined that the officer that responded did in fact make a mistake. I did not pick up any fireworks and move them in my lawn as the video shows them being shot at my house directly. This is the second year in a row this has happened. I have personally called the police in this neighborhood a half dozen times. Their son harassed my wife and my sister in law that lives with us as they are now afraid to go outside and calling them extremely offensive names. Every-time I was outside trying to do work in my lawn (since someone in the neighborhood called city enforcement on me for my lawn being too long) Buck’s son always yells highly offensive stuff at me. I am not the only people that have had issues with their son, the previous people that lived in the house that I am in claim, buck’s son shot at the house with a pellet gun and actually damaged the siding.

      As far as the neighbors, I get along with everyone except 2 households. Buck’s son is one and the other is a house down the street. I called the police one day as last year after bringing my newborn son home and not having any sleep due to the fact, he had complications after birth that we were dealing with a car parked in front of our house was laying on the horn for a good 3-4 minutes. I had gone outside and had asked them to stop and they told me to kiss off in not so nice words. They started honking again and that is when I called the police, as that is a noise violation in the city of Three Rivers. So is blaring music from you car so loud it shakes the windows of houses around you.

      People want to talk about accountability on my part and I agree I had some blame here, however take a look at some other things that have gone on. As far as me calling the police, I was advised by an attorney to call the police everytime to establish a paper trail and show there is a pattern.

      1. Now with all of that being said, there are major issues in our county that our current County Commissioner has failed to address. I can sit here and argue over a neighborhood dispute or I can actually go out in the community and make a difference. I already have, I have assisted in the arrest of 3 drunk drivers, I have assisted in the investigation of 2 arsons in Kalamazoo County, I helped put away a neighbor that was constantly beating on his girlfriend and she was too afraid to make a stand, and I have been a member of a few fire departments in the past. Plus not too long after we moved in, buck’s family had burned something on the stove or something like that and I saw the smoke in their house and heard the smoke alarms, so I ran over to see if there was anything I could do to help. I also try to stop and help people stranded on the side of the road every chance I get. I have volunteered for charities and have tried to be helpful. To suggest I am a bully saddens me, as I am truly a caring person. Buck had suggested that I go across the street and talk to him man to man, I would have but I was honestly afraid as his son threatened me. Buck says he was afraid that I was going to call the cops, so we are both at fault for not trying to talk this out with each other and continued to let this escalate. As I had said earlier I tried talking to his boyfriend’s girlfriend and she said she would talk to him and that it was over.

      2. It is actually quite amazing the number of calls made to the police since you have moved into the compared to the last 30 years of no issues. If in fact if things were so terrible I think we would have had issues prior to your appearance on our block.

        That being said my son can and has been a jackass on occasion. If he has offended your wife or sister-in-law for that I apologize to them both. If I had been made aware it would have been handled. Although i don;t see you owning up to the insults you hurled at my son about my husband and myself. Instead of acting like a responsible adult and contacting parents you chose to behave in such a reprehensible manor that it showed your true character.

        Unfortunately for you this behavior has not only manifested itself with us it seems there is a consistent pattern of behavior you exhibit with everyone. There is more information I have about you. As I have had a flood of people reiterate bad experiences with you. But to be fair it is hearsay so I will not post that information. Understand you have burned many many bridges.

        I actually believe that you believe you are in the right and that your behavior is justified which is truly scary.

        Ronda Hicks

        1. Lets try and keep this on the politics of Cody Sharpe and let the neighborhood dispute go. Cody has said that he will cease the constant calling of the police and I have said I will rein in the behavior of my son.

          I may be naive but I believe that this truce can work and we can focus on what is good for the community.

  5. As someone who has volunteered the 6 years of my life back to the community in running the rocket football program. I have been discouraged by the comments by Mr Sharpe and others who may be against the proposed sports complex.
    I am not under any assumption that everyone in the community would be in favor of it but am shocked by the personal mud slinging and flat out lies and manipulation of the facts. I’m all for robust discussion but most of debate is anything but.

    1. Mike,

      I appreciate your dedication to the community. I am in no way against building a sports complex. What I am against is the fact we spent $9500 per acre ($755,000 for 80 acres) when the average price for prime agricultural land in Michigan is $4500 per acre. I am against alienating Lockport Township by creating this huge controversy. There were other locations that would have worked. They could have been built over by the high school where a farm said he would have sold the land for much cheaper than we paid. It does concern me that the county is giving $2.8 million dollars for the project while our roads are crumbling.

      1. Thanks for your reply and confirming what I stated.
        I think a better question would be why is the road commission spending millions of dollars on a new facility when our roads are crumbling. Not why the commission is looking for avenues to better our communities not related to roads. But that’s just my opinion.
        I have to wonder about your judgment of character as a person you’ve seemed to gravitate toward is continually harassing people who volunteer their time to the community at work and such, continually calling them at their employers. Threatening to call their boss. Calling and leaving threatening messages to people harassing their children. Calling a person of non white ethnicity a inbred. Trying to steer a customer of mine who I’ve done work for for years to another contractor just because I support a complex in Three Rivers. Your good at stating the talking points this person has came up with but don’t seem to be a good judge of their character. And these aren’t heresay or rumors, these things have actually happened over the last couple years. Contrary to the talking points we have been working on this project to for a couple years. Forgive me but that makes me question your judgment on everything.

  6. It is a better question on why the road commission is spending millions of dollars on a new facility. I have been asking the same questions of the road commission with failed answers.

    I haven’t harassed anyone or even called anyone’s employer or children. Mike up until this moment right now I had no idea who you are were. While right now everyone is heated about the sports complex, I have not ever done anything that you just accused me of and at this point it amounts libel and defamation of character. I am willing to have discussions but when someone is flat out making extremely false allegations, I will not participate.

    1. I never said you did, if you read my comment it states a person you have chosen to associate with, which makes me question you character judgment. Sorry I thought I stated that pretty clearly, my apologies if not…

      1. Had I know what was going on, I would not have associated with that person. I think I might have an idea but I was unaware that it went this far. I don’t condone that behavior Mike at all. I misread your comment and I apologize.

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