Bloviating editor shows ignorance of how F’ville really works
There is a time-honored tradition in our nation that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Unfortunately, many people forget the corollary that the relevance of one’s opinion is directly proportional to one’s knowledge of the subject of which they opine.
For a man of your age and having been the editor and publisher of a local newspaper for so many years, your understanding of how local government works, be it city, county or school systems, is abysmal.
Perhaps the root cause of your lack of knowledge is that you sit behind your desk and bloviate and pontificate without taking the time to experience or learn of the challenges, opportunities and constraints communities deal with on a daily basis.
Having been involved in various aspects, volunteer and elected, of our community for many years I think the folks would find it interesting that you have been to but ONE Fayetteville City Council meeting in the past 12 years.
It was hard to decipher the intent or purpose of your opinion piece last week. The shallowness of your article was readily apparent when it only took you to the third paragraph to revert to your standard personal attacks. One has to ask, are you unable or unwilling to develop your opinion or thoughts in a cogent manner so as to offer a counterpoint to divergent viewpoints?
The sad part of all this is that you are an enabler for a very small vocal and divisive group of our community. Look at your editorial page. The same eight to ten people take turns denigrating their fellow citizens.
Most would agree that is not the way to foster free and open debate on relevant issues in our community. These individuals might all be great anonymous philanthropists in support of our community; however, they seem to have a different agenda. I do not recognize the names of one of these folks as contributors or advocates that have helped make this the wonderful place to live that it is today and if we work together will continue to be into the future.
We are not entitled to or guaranteed that future; we must influence that what we can and plan for the unexpected. Fayette County and our cities are rated and adjudged to be in the top tier, by all measurable standards, of all areas of the United States. To listen to or read the tirades of the nay-sayers one would think we lived in Baghdad or Kabul.
Mr. Beverly, you seem to be having some degree of heartburn with our new sidewalks. Might I suggest, again, that you push back from your desk and go for a walk on these great additions to our community? Your heartburn might dissipate!
Once again your knowledge of city operations is mistaken and you misrepresent reality. The voters approved the pedestrian sidewalk/path concept and subsequent projects for the city of Fayetteville’s small portion of the 2004 TSPOST. Fayetteville’s portion of the TSPOST represented about 3.6 percent of total revenue. We have actively endeavored to leverage our limited resources with grant money from any number of sources, including public and private.
I, indeed, AM proud of the positive results we have been able to achieve through the tireless efforts of our staff. The grants we have competed for and won concerning sidewalks/paths are called TE (transportation enhancement) grants that are RESTRICTED to sidewalk/path construction.
These grants actually reflect an extremely modest return on the tens of millions of tax dollars Fayetteville citizens send to Washington each year. So, yes, I am very comfortable in saying that each and every sidewalk in the city has been paid for by the residents of our city!
The response to the sidewalks has been overwhelmingly positive from our citizens. They paid for them, thus it is their opinions that our elected officials honor. You are also probably unaware of the wealth of research and data available indicating that walkable communities, like Fayetteville, play an important role in improving the overall health and extending the life expectancy of their citizens. As healthcare costs sky rocket this would seen to be an important benefit to all.
As to your snide remarks about the bridge on [Ga. Highway] 92 North, once again you know not of what you speak. A year-round stream proceeds under [Hwy.] 92 at that location and it is also a drainage basin for a large area that reaches all the way to Ga. 85. A less substantial bridge would be prone to washout in heavy rain events and if the culvert became clogged the subsequent back-up of water could flood the adjoining neighborhoods.
Thus, planning ahead and taking the advice of engineering professionals to preclude possible problems was certainly the proper thing to do, regardless of the comments of local pundits.
Mr. Beverly, perhaps your underlying concern is that the federal government should not offer these and hundreds of other grant programs given their proclivity to spend money that they do not have.
If that is your premise, I wholeheartedly agree; however, that probably calls for top-down solutions that leave the tax dollars at the local level and in the taxpayers’ pockets where they are much more effective.
If we are to have a positive impact on our future, I believe we cannot sit around our own table and talk to ourselves. We must represent our local best interests but also be engaged in regional, state and national affairs lest we be marginalized, as some folks seem to fear. If we are not at the table we will certainly not be part of any solution.
I would like to offer you an open invitation to spend some time with us at City Hall where senior staff, who are recognized throughout the state for their professional knowledge and expertise, can give you a tutorial to bring you up the speed on the daily workings and the short- and long-term planning of a city and all that it entails. You might find it interesting and enlightening.
[Ken Steele is the mayor of Fayetteville. He has served on the Fayetteville City Council since July 1994. He also was elected in 2010 to head the Georgia Municipal Association, the lobbying group for Georgia’s cities.]