Finally back, now the news

By:  Diane Benjamin

The Pantagraph has been anxiously awaiting what I am going to write about Kevin Lower’s Town Hall last night.  If you read their report and attended, it’s easy to see what I spoke about toward the end of the meeting.  The bird-cage liner is either intentionally deceiving citizens for their own personal agenda of feeding from the government trough, or they are deaf to the citizens who spoke.

The first line of their story was written to make readers believe it was a small group of citizens that showed up.  “Monica Metz stood before more than 50 people . . “.  How many more than 50 people Ms. reporter?  75, 100, 500?  I should have remembered the Pantagraph reporters ALWAYS under report attendance at events they don’t like, but I forgot to count.  From the people I asked, attendance ranged from 75-120.  Rest assured, a lot of citizens wanted to be heard.   The Pantagraph choose to quote 2 people who did not reflect what most citizens said.  A big theme of the evening was:  “The City and Council aren’t listening to the people”.

The email Renner sent to supporters urging them to show up flopped.  Maybe all his “friends” are out of town with him.  Maybe he doesn’t have that many “friends” left.  Most speakers now consider Renner a lost cause and immaterial.  They did lite into the Council who doesn’t represent the people in their Ward and instead vote for whatever Renner wants.  Did the Council members present hear them?  I guess we will see.

Alderman Lower did very little speaking.  The entire night consisted of the microphone being passed around and people saying what was on their mind.  It was obviously an engaged and informed group.  Topics ranged from the Public Comment policy, lack of need for a downtown hotel, pending tax increases from the “budget committee”, lack of Council attention when citizens speak, Coliseum, Aldermen not returning emails, and thanks to Lower for hosting the event.

Two of the few City supporters were Joe and Ruth Haney.  They praised the Coliseum and blamed the management for its poor performance.  Ruth thinks renegotiating a new contract with the same cads is going to fix everything.  Of course, they own the parking across the street and other downtown buildings.  You should also know they have fed from the public trough as well.  They originally wanted a $49,350 grant, but settled for $24,675 to fix façade.

Some of the speakers referenced me and BlnNews when they spoke.  I only do this site to inform people, thank you for showing up and voicing your opinions.  Toward the end many speakers talked about getting the citizens involved and the low turnout at the April elections.  At that point I had to speak.  I placed the blame squarely on the Pantagraph and WJBC.  Both take City money and both don’t report facts unfavorable to their buddies at City Hall.  Nothing makes my case better than the Pantagraph report of last nights meeting.

The report on the WJBC website is a little better, but they got Monica’s name wrong.  If you are going to quote somebody WJBC, maybe you should get the name right.

Note to John Brandt who believes people need to be more positive:  The citizens are only responding to the way they are treated.  Renner regularly denigrates anybody who disagrees with him.  Alderman Hauman walking out on a speaker during public comment.  Scott Black parrots Renner’s talking points.  Funny how the majority of the crowd admired and appreciated Kevin Lower  fighting for them.  Respect breeds respect.  You were talking to the wrong people John.

More on the budget committee next!

4 thoughts on “Finally back, now the news

  1. The people addressing a wide range of issues and holding public officials feet to the fire is a BEAUTIFUL THING. Only a Totalitarian would view such citizen engagement as a “negative.” The problem is Mayor Tari (TotaliTARIan) Renner only wants the citizen participation from people who share his tax and spend all powerful government ideology. The irony is when Mr. Renner ran for County Board in the early 1990s he said it was because the board needed a different voice. Now in true totalitarian form the Mayor wants no other voice in local government except for the sheep who echo his own.
    The Mayor and other totalitarians such as Scott Black view Group Think as a positive mindset that helps get things done. However the totalitarians routinely reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppress dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

    Group Think is Dangerous.
    According to Wikipedia:
    Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the “ingroup” produces an “illusion of invulnerability” (an inflated certainty that the right decision has been made). Thus the “ingroup” significantly overrates its own abilities in decision-making, and significantly underrates the abilities of its opponents (the “outgroup”). Furthermore groupthink can produce dehumanizing actions against the “outgroup”.

    Does the above look and sound familiar to the behavior we have seen exhibited from the Mayor?

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