Monday, March 19, 2007

First lunch with Sheila - how to not gain a backer

After Sheila announced she was running for mayor, I read the quotes in the SI and was concerned about what they wrote. So, I sent Sheila email and told her that I didn't like what the SI had written, didn't think the words quoted to her was what Carbondale needed. She suggested we go to lunch and after a few weeks, we really did get together. It has been six months, but it left quite an impression on me.

After Sheila and Tom Redmond sat down and we had ordered, I asked Sheila the obvious question, "Why do you want to be mayor?" She responded, "I think the strongest person should take the heavy box off the top shelf." I said, "what?" She repeated herself, exactly. I said, "what does that mean?" She went on, "you know, I think I'm a strong performer and have a lot to offer." I said, "that is the reason you want to be mayor?" "Yes." "OK." I was surprised that she didn't have a reason for being mayor that didn't suck, but decided to move along.

I next asked, "what are your economic development plans?" She said, "I don't have any." I replied, "how can you not have any?" "That is why I declared for mayor so early, so I can figure out a plan." "So, you have no idea of what you want the city to become?" I asked. "Not yet," Sheila responded. I found this to be pretty shocking, how can you live in a city for years, be on city council for 3 plus years and not have a vision for what you want to do if you become mayor?

I went on to ask her if she had read up on rural economic development, "no." Did she like how city hall performed, no real opinions.

We have a funny exchange about the Northeast part of town. I told her a story about how I started to drive though the Northeast several times a day, over the course of several weeks the previous summer. When I was driving through, my greatest impression was of the young black men walking back to their houses with brown paper bags full of booze. It seemed like a shame to me then and a shame to me now. Sheila told me, "I have never seen that." I told her, "you have to go look, when was the last time you were over there?" Ever wonder where the business for ABC and Ron's Short Stop come from? I can't say that I would be eager to ride my bike though that neighborhood if I was a woman on a hot day, but I still don't understand how you can not know what is happening in the Northeast of a city were you are running for mayor.

We talked about the responsiveness of City Hall and in particular Tom Redmond's old department and how that hurt economic development. The refused to engage in any discussion about what they saw City Hall doing if Sheila won.

I guess her campaign pitch must have become more polished since then, but her campaign plans certainly reflect this conversation. Sheila is an empty container who had little to no plans, and panders to voters by pushing committees to decide what should be done.

If she is promising something, it is to leave Carbondale in its current "Town and Gown" state of 24,000 people and nothing else. She also promises to ruffle no feathers, while accomplishing little. But, maybe that is what her supporters want?

Your comments are always welcome.

23 comments:

nobody said...

Sheila Simon's candidacy and the results of the primary elections have made me question remaining in Carbondale.

i had been talking to realtors about investing some family money in a home, but with Tom Redmond re-entering the power structure as Sheila's Mephistopheles, i probably had better not. As long as i rent from one of the politically grafted slumlords, maybe they will let me be.

Same thing for starting a business...


Please support Brad Cole.

Mad Math Guy said...

From this we learn that you're, well, racist. The Northeastern part of town is not scary and that stereotype is well over-blown. As far as people walking around with liquor in their hands, you're just as (if not more) likely to see that downtown or near student housing. No one is squawking about that, though, because the patrons are white. So your post boils down to this...black people with liquor are scary to you. That's every bit racist and you cannot deny it.

Peter in Carbondale said...

Actually, I think we find out that I'm a realist. Have you gone into that neighborhood at all?

There is a large difference between a college student doing the strip and people who don't have a job, drinking all day. I think it is OK to discriminate based on people being lazy or stupid, that is called capitalism.

The Northeast side makes me sad. If you do a little research, you might be interested in the crime statistics in that neighborhood. The drugs are eating it up.

You seem consistently able to take enough facts and come up with the wrong conclusion. Is that a skill you cultivate?

Anonymous said...

So how is it that you know whether the people you see on the Northeast side have jobs? How do they pay for the alcohol you see them carrying? I suppose that comes from their welfare check, right?

Bob the Builder said...

I agree with you 100% regarding the northeast side of town. Anyone with a brain wouldn't want to drive around that area especially at night. It wouldn't matter if the people are black, white, Asian, etc., it's a predominantly POOR area, where drugs and crime run rampant. The city should open their eyes and quit ignoring the problems in this town.

As for Sheila, I was a supporter of hers, even voted for her in the primaries...until I realized that she had nothing positive to offer my home-town...so I'm voting Brad.

Mad Math Guy said...

Your defense is that black people are lazy and stupid? Well done.

Peter in Carbondale said...

Mad Math is just making things up now.

I do think that the Northeast side of Carbondale exports their best and brightest to locations outside of Carbondale. But that is true for the whole city. The difference is they don't import College students, Professors and Doctors to fill in the houses.

I have a friend or two who lives over there, they can point out the crack houses easily, if you ask.

As Bob the Builder wrote here, it doesn't matter what color they are, it is about drugs and crime.

Anonymous said...

As Bob the Builder wrote here, it doesn't matter what color they are, it is about drugs and crime.

Then why did you bring up their color?

bob the builder said...

Mad Math Guy said...

Your defense is that black people are lazy and stupid? Well done


Sorry, Mad Math Guy, perhaps you are lazy and stupid, because I AM a person of color, and I would not dare call anyone of any race lazy and stupid, unless they deserved the title! There are plenty of people of ALL races that ARE lazy and stupid.

Wondering said...

What about the boxes on the bottom shelf?

Anonymous said...

Mad Math Guy said...

Your defense is that black people are lazy and stupid? Well done


Sorry, Mad Math Guy, perhaps you are lazy and stupid, because I AM a person of color, and I would not dare call anyone of any race lazy and stupid, unless they deserved the title! There are plenty of people of ALL races that ARE lazy and stupid.


Mad Math Guy was directing his comment at Peter, not you.

Mad Math Guy said...

What the last person said. Peter is the one who is only concerned about drug-and-alcohol use when its in the Northeast. When it is white suburban kids, its just "college kids having a good time." When its folks in the NE, they are "lazy." I'm surprised you don't find it as offensive as I do, Bob, because the people I know in that part of town are neither unemployed nor lazy.

Peter in Carbondale said...

Why do you write such stupid stuff or maybe you just aren't capable of remembering more then one paragraph at a time?

Mad Math Guy said...

Well, if you can draw spurious connections from flimsy evidence, I think I'm free to explore the meaning of the words you put in print. Or can't you stand up to the scruitiny, Peter? God forbid we offend your soft sensibilities.

Peter in Carbondale said...

There is a real difference between what I do and what you do. Your problem is that you can't understand the issues well enough to figure out what I write about well enough. Your writings are just randomly drawing on single lines, instead of the whole.

If you look up a little, I wrote there is a difference between a college student having a party and a person with no job drinking the day away. It is impossible not to understand these differences. Then you write that I can't see the difference between a black person and white college student partying.

Just because you don't get it, doesn't mean that everyone else doesn't.

You just don't draw conclusions from what has been written like everyone else does. It could be that you are so biased, that you don't respond in what everyone else considers reasonable way? It could be that you never really get what is happening around you and you are always a little off? I don't know. I do know you are drawing conclusions that aren't reasonable from my writings.

Think it over, you can do better.

Anonymous said...

Loosely throwing the term "racist" around undermines the seriousness of the term. Jesse Jackson loves to label anyone who looks at black culture and sees a problem as "a racist". It appears mad math has fallen inline with that method of thinking.

Here's the truth - there's a serious problem with black culture in this country. If you need a black person to point this out to you, have a look at what Bill Cosby has been saying lately. Not fathering children, not learning to read at an adult level, not learning to speak proper English in a country that rewards these characteristics is a recipe for disaster. Do all blacks fail to meet these criteria? No, and no reasonable person - including Peter - is claiming they do.

Mad, people are going to say things you don't agree with - that's one of the beautiful things about free speech. You can digest their argument and counter with a well thought out one of your own, or you can cherry pick their wording and label them with the "you're fat, no you're fatter" argument. If you choose the latter, don’t expect much in the way of healthy returns.

The choice is up to you.

Anonymous said...

(I am a different math guy.)

Lazy and drunk students are a serious problem primarily for the University to deal with. The problems in NE Carbondale are a City concern. I think that is the key distinction here, not race. I will add however that I have not seen the problem Peter reports, although I don't drive in NE C'dale that much. (Perhpas blacks walk home with their boos, while white drive home with theirs.)

Nationaly, black Americans drink less than white Americans.
http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/105/4/311

Does anyone have data on the unemployment rates in the different parts of C'dale? Perhpas that would would make the discussion here more productive.

Peter in Carbondale said...

I'm pretty sure that drawing a conclusion based on this data would be pretty hard. If we assume that the same percentage of Americans are self medicating, how do we know that the difference isn't because of smoking pot (or the like) and/or the survey didn't ask the right questions?

For most people, recreational drinking is not a significant problem and not much of a health risk compared to other bad habits. Tobacco is more additive, as is cocaine and its derivatives.

Of course, the real health risk to all these things is not having enough money to feed your addictions. Then people start to steal and doing other illegal activities to get a fix. Being sent to jail and the aftermath problems from being a felon, are the worst health risk.

Now if you want to get into descrimination problems, look at prison sentences for drugs that poor people use, compared to drugs that rich people use. Rush Limbaugh is on prescription drug as strong as cocaine, no prison sentence. Person with crack is going away for a long, long time. That is really unfair.

Anonymous said...

For nation drug use data see:
http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/drugfact/minorities/index.html

But, the question of interest for us is what economic challenges are facing NE C'dale and what can be done about them?

Peter in Carbondale said...

Thanks for Anonymous for the good idea about challenges of the NE. I take back what I wrote in Dave's blog about you. :)

I have adopted a two pronged attack on this, business development and Boys and Girl's Club in my personal activities.

I'll pull this out and give it a new entry soon.

Anonymous said...

Small business owner in Carbondale.

I am fond of both Brad and Sheila as people.

I'm voting for Sheila. Brad's comment that Carbondale had no sporting goods stores so HURRAY FOR DICKS was the last straw. Poor Shawnee Trails.

Jesus, Brad. WTF were you thinking? And stop being so smug.

Peter in Carbondale said...

By any common definition, Carbondale doesn't have a sporting goods store that is locally owned. Carbondale has a couple of bike shops, a couple of outdoor stores, shoe stores, a baseball hat store and Walmart sells sporting goods too. There is a sporting goods store in the Mall (Hibert's Sports maybe?) that is a real sporting goods store. So I guess I agree there is one in town, but is sure isn't Shawnee Trails, which is an outdoor store.

If you want to get pissed off and not vote for someone, feel free. But, this is a really stupid reason. Unless, you aren't going to vote against Brad because of his personality and then I think you are doing the right thing.

Personally, I would prefer effective over nice. Actually, I would prefer someone who is both effective and nice, but since that isn't our choice this election, I'm going for effective.

It is funny when good things happen and you don't think through your talking points, sometimes you say something that isn't correct. I do it myself, so I can't hold someone responsible for that. I'm much more concerned about their intent and effort.

The choice is your's, just don't kid yourself about why are voting for someone. You like Sheila and her promise to let the city be managed by the bureaucracy, vote for her. Don't think the city hall bureaucracy will do a good job with adult supervision, vote for Brad.

The choice is fairly easy.

Hugh Williams, Attorney at Law said...

I see Sheila's supporters are out in full force. The idea of this blog was that the writer felt that Sheila did not have a clue about why she was running for mayor. You have chosen to obsess on one sentence.

It is clear that the choices for mayor are poor. Cole has the American Tap deal hanging over his head. Luckily for Sheila she was out of town when the vote on that debacle came up.

Sheila attacks Cole on spending. Then when she is told that she supported the spending, her response was "My bad". Apparently she did not realize what she was voting on.