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Requiem for an Idiot
Please forgive the double posting of this and my tone, but I read this and just about broke a tooth.
"A month ago, if anyone would have told me that the number one issue going into the runoff election was going to be a Christmas tree, I would have said they were crazy.
A month ago, the squirrels in Dover Square told me that Steve Brown was going to get trounced in the runoff. The number one issue was Mr. Brown's abject stupidity, as he so eloquently indicates throughout the remainder of this "concession".
The extensive television coverage regarding a segment of our Christmas program called "Lighting of the Grand Tree" drew significant vocal opposition from local citizens and came as a total surprise.
It must really stink to be killed with the sword you used as a weapon. I'm really surprised nobody saw this one coming. And what is the cruelest irony of all? The mayor doesn't let his family watch TV, from what I've heard. I mean, even just a little bit of flipping through the channels would've given him fair warning that this wasn't a good idea.
The irony of it all was that a local church pastor came up with the name for the tree lighting and his intention was to make it a big occasion.
Ladies and Gentleman, Steve Brown 101. Blame, shift the attention. Kevin Haglund already said his piece, but there's no need for him to fall on the sword on this issue.
The full page ad for the Christmas event run in the local newspaper contained the word "Christmas" four times and "Christmas trees" also.
I mean COME ON! It was EVERYWHERE! Didn't you see it????? That's not the point, kids. The tree "controversy" was not even the angle. Let's consider something...the press believed that the tree lighting was on MONDAY evening, but the lighting was actually on SATURDAY. How could journalists make such a glaring error? Maybe someone planted this....perhaps to have a ready-made excuse when he lost.
Yes, ladies and gentleman, we will not put this one past good old Steve Brown. Master of the media that he is, he did not employ the strongest two defenses he had at his disposal to combat the naysayers - the story was "old news" and the tree's name was an homage to trees like the "Great Tree" at Lenox Square. Had he said those words, the attention might have been deflected. But Mr. Brown wasn't quick enough on his feet then....or was he? Conspiracies abound.
But that, my friends, as we well know, is NOT the number one issue going into the runoff. We'll get to that in a moment. But now, back to the holiday fun! Oops, I mean Christmas/Kwanzaa/Chanukah/Festivus fun.
There was no effort being made to extract Christmas from the program and the content of the program at the amphitheater was overtly Christian in nature. This was truly an out of the ordinary ending to the campaign process.
Overtly Christian, meaning run by a Christian-based church, the same church, I believe, Mr. Brown attends. It's still such a brutal irony that there was flak regarding a non-Christian based term suggested by a Christian minister, and ultimately approved for marketing by a clueless wonder of a Mayor. Head...rear...you know the drill.
And now for something completely different...
I want to personally thank all of the citizens and the city staff for allowing me to be a part of four wonderfully productive years in elected office as your public servant. The outstanding relationships made at the state, regional and local levels will always be appreciated.
City staff, I am fairly confident, didn't get a choice in the matter. If they did, they either a)quit, b)were forced out of office or c)would've strongly considered performing gruesome acts of masochism to ensure they didn't have to report to work the next day. And what of the citizens? Well, at least a few of them felt the love, but they were all out of town on November 8 and December 6. He never mentions the business community. I wonder why...
I hope that the advancements in land planning, multi-use path and environmental protection ordinances and standards endure for generations to come.
Well, since most of them are common sense, I would hope so too. But you're a true visionary, Mr. Brown.
It has been an honor to serve our city over the past four years and promote open, honest government. I enjoyed working with the council on creating our many high marks and historical firsts.
First time mayor publicly called "moron" in a council meeting. First time City staff members were openly criticized for providing their professional opinions.
It is my prayer that our local government will continue to be an advocate for all citizens and will disavow any effort to promote corruption within our system.
Didn't God get you into this mess in the first place? I digress...disavow any effort to promote corruption - but don't worry about actually being corrupt yourself. I mean, you negotiate with developers outside your authority, you violate the City charter by ordering staff to do tasks for you, and you have not one but TWO ethics complaints filed against you - one you FILED ON YOURSELF!
It is paramount that the council protects the interests of the ordinary citizens from the inevitable accumulation of power by the entities desirous of government decision making capacity.
I had to read this sentence three times in order to fully comprehend the retardedness of it. And hey Harold, congrats on a hard-fought victory, too!
My best wishes go to our future councils and our citizens.
We appreciate your sentiment. Move to Serenbe, they'll need a new mayor soon.
And now, the litany of misdirection:
1. Our council pulled the city out of the biggest budget shortfall (across the board pay increases of over $750,000, excessive spending, added 14 new staff positions and roll the millage rate back at the same time) in the city's history in the midst of the worst economy in the city's history. Took bold steps and showed fiscal discipline by making immediate budget cuts in 2002 in excess of $1 million and cut over $10 million of city projects in the public improvement program.
Well, at least he doesn't take sole credit here. But what about the staff that actually recommended the cuts? And hey, perhaps some of those projects were just DELAYED, further upsetting citizens expecting things to get done.
2. Created the strongest environmental protection ordinances (tree preservation, stormwater) in the city's history.
Ordinances that will be battled in court for years to come once they are challenged. A good start, however.
3. More funds appropriated for roads and cart paths (a record $66 million with an additional $11 million from SPLOST) than any other time in the city's history.
Thanks, DOT. Thanks, Clean Air Act. Thanks, Fayette County for passing the SPLOST AGAINST STEVE BROWN'S OPPOSITION.
4. City's Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) program won nearly $2 million in grants and was given regional recognition.
Thanks, planning staff. I was 3rd grade spelling champion once. Didn't make it to the regionals. By the way, "regional recognition" may just mean listed on the ARC's website along with all of the other recipients of the grant.
5. The city's bond rating was elevated to the highest ranking in the city's history with only two local governments in the entire state ranking higher.
Thanks, Finance staff. Now, let's see the City actually try and GET a bond with all the litigation ongoing...WITH A BANK. Settle while you still can, guys.
6. Placed more funding, new equipment and personnel into cart path paving than any other city administration.
Thanks, Public Works staff. Thanks, City Manager. Thanks, time and tree roots. It would've had to happen if Bozo the Clown was mayor. And some say he was....
7. Creating the city's first ever Stormwater Utility that will create the city's first stormwater infrastructure maintenance program and implement $9 million of overdue repairs.
Stormwater Infrastructure Maintenance Program = if it's broke, fix it. Innovative. Thanks, tree roots. Thanks, Federal Government. We like receiving federal funding for roads, so we'll do whatever you ask, regardless the cost (but seriously, stormwater maintenance is a good thing).
8. Created the city's largest public-private community program, Community Action Day, that utilized hundreds of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of dollars to help citizens in need and local schools.
It’s a great cause. I hope next year all the churches, scout troops and community organizations can get together under the auspices of Hands On Atlanta or another worthy non-profit. Government should NOT be in the business of fixing your broken house. They should tell you it's broken and give you the opportunity to fix it yourself. The government can participate, but they shouldn't take the lead.
9. Created the city's first ban on smoking to protect the health of the citizens. Our ordinance became a model for the state ban.
Man, so what were all those green and red signs on public buildings for all those years? Oh yeah, THE FIRST SMOKING BAN. Way to be innovative again, Steve-o.
10. Created ordinance (and state legislation) allowing 15-year-olds to drive a golf cart and seniors to drive a cart without a license providing both groups with unprecedented freedom of movement.
Unnecessary if the city didn't decide to zealously prosecute a man cited for a litany of traffic violations, including DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE. Yes, kids, you could be drunk and drive a golf cart, but if you had a license when you did it, you'd lose it. Isn’t the law magical?
11. Created a golf cart safety training program for middle school and high school students.
Thanks, Police Department.
12. Built the city's first Smoke Training Facility and renovated several fire stations.
Thanks, Fire Department. Didn't you ask for that YEARS ago?
13. Hired additional firefighters and police in addition to purchase more vehicles and equipment.
I've mentioned this before, but this ranks up there with "ate breakfast" and "brushed my teeth" as accomplishments. Thanks for doing YOUR JOB.
14. Created the city's first in-house City Solicitor position to be more efficient and reduce costs.
I wonder if we really reduced costs?
15. Created the first ever Educational Impact Statement for every rezoning and annexation request to measure the development's impact in order to protect our schools.
Thanks, Planning Department.
16. Approved the very successful Approved Citizen Emergency Response Training (CERT) program.
Thanks, Police Department. And I think this is where Steve started to lose it - "Approved the very successful Approved..." I can't emphasize enough the omnipotent majesty that is Spelling and Grammar Check in Microsoft Word.
17. Co-Founding and leading the Metropolitan Atlanta Mayors Association (MAMA)
Whoop. Eee. Pat yourself on the back for creating another way to network for another job.
18. Fought government corruption put an end to the mismanagement of the Development Authority.
Sentence fragments RULE! Yes, the era of bad management is over. And the bills are due. Pay up, Peachtree City.
19. Created the city's first overlay zone with architectural and landscape controls. The overlay and the LCI program were the most significant land planning projects in our city."
Thanks, Planning Department. Without you, Steve Brown would've looked like a fool. And to think he thanked you by lambasting you when your opinion differed from his.
To sum it all up, ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, Steve Brown didn't lose because of a Christmas tree. He didn't lose on the issues. He lost because he doesn't understand the most important, most vital, most critical thing any good leader understands:
You don't do anything unless you have the support of those you work with, and those you work for.
Steve Brown lost because he is Steve Brown, self-centered, self-absorbed, oblivious to the will of the people. Steve tried to change the world, and the world fought back.
Good luck to you, Citizen Steve. May you find comfort and peace in your new role, hopefully far away from us here in Peachtree City.
Morning has arrived in Peachtree City. Let's greet the new day. And to Harold Logsdon, the new council and all who follow - don't forget the moral of this story, and remember who got you where you are today.Reality Bytes's blog | login to post comments
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