Last Saturday we came home to discover several messages on our voicemail.
Before we were finished listening to the campaign hype, we’d been promised everything but forty acres and a mule – and it’s only the primaries. At the rate things are going, by November, Mr. Fix It may have to build us a barn out back off the deck to go along with the new farm some official is going to give us next year.
Beyond the promises, I’m tired of hearing how the other guy is the pits while our guy is the best thing since peanut butter. I don’t want to listen to people arguing and posturing; just do what we elected you to do. Let me know your ideas and vision and then show how you’re trying to achieve what’s best for our folks as a whole and I’ll be okay. I want to know more about the candidate. What’s their story? Why are they running for public office? What do they hope to achieve? The older I get, the more I want to know about the folks asking for my vote.
How well do you know the people we elected? Do you know them only when you see them at public functions or run into them at the grocery store? What do you know about them personally? When was the last time you called or e-mailed a city or county elected official to verify something you’ve heard or read about a meeting, event, situation, or concern? When was the last time any of us made an offhand remark about how much better we could do their job than they do, but never get around to qualifying when the next election cycle rolls around?
If you’re like most of us, it’s more convenient to sit home and read the news when it publishes either on paper or online.
We’re far too busy with America’s Got Talent to be bothered with researching a topic of concern; it’s just easier to write a blistering comment under an assumed name on a blog. Why take the time to talk with everyone when prejudice and gossip are so much easier to access?
Recently, I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours talking with Barrow County Commission Chairman Danny Yearwood regarding the old Barrow County Courthouse in downtown Winder. Gwen Hill and I had gone to talk with the Chairman about replacing the checker tables that used to be under the big tree on the front lawn. We wound up talking about SPLOST funds, grants, loans, property – you name it – but the Chairman was most supportive of what Barrow Preservation Society is doing and is quite receptive to how we can be of support to the County, as well, and we appreciate that.
I gotta tell you: I’ve known Danny Yearwood most of my life, but realize that in the twenty-one years I lived in Gwinnett County, people can change. Like many of you, I haven’t quite known how to take some of the things I’ve heard and read. But the man with whom we spent two hours and the man we read about in the papers are two different people. You need to know that.
Though I haven’t agreed with everything he’s done as Chairman –he is a sincere man trying very hard to do what he believes is best for the county even if it doesn’t always come across that way.
Danny Yearwood will be the first to tell you the past year-and-a-half have been a real trial by fire as it has been for many of our elected officials. Tempers have flared, personality conflicts have been more public than he would have liked, and some things said that could have been said differently and achieved a much more positive result. Our county’s dirty laundry has been aired quite publicly and from the looks of the blogs, there are some really deep-seated agendas casting a different light on situations that are bad enough without being embroidered.
Chairman Yearwood has some good ideas he would very much like to see come to fruition if some of the other stuff that’s gone on will settle down. Give him a call sometime. He’d love to share his ideas with you. After all, this is your county, too.
Helen Person is a Winder resident and columnist for the Barrow Journal. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What a softball PR piece... You are what you "do" not what you "say" A man is the measure of his actions not his words
07/21/10 at 02:33 PM
Are you so ignorant that you cannot distinguish between a column of personal opinion and a news story? Referring to the above as a "softball PR piece" inclines me to infer in the affirmative to my query. Some people should not bloviate in public unless they have first passed a minimal IQ threshhold.
The problem with Yearwood has and continues to be the representation of fact versus agenda, his and his supporters agenda. The one thing you get right is this is our County, not his and certainly not only his supporters, but they have set out doing their agenda. The codes aren't enforced, the builders aren't following the rules (permits not being paid), SPLOST programs are not being built, and he can't manage a budget (see the reports of being over budget and over projecting revenues). We can't stand anymore time for Yearwood.