Do we keep electing our public servants from a revolving little group? There seems to be a network of crony capitalism or phony capitalism in Blissfield. I started with a completely open view of things and this is what I keep coming back to. Not capitalism per say from doing honest hard work by selling a great product or service, but capitalizing from others setting you up and vice versa for benefit. This can be effectively accomplished by infiltrating and tapping into the government system where the power and money supply is, and it doesn’t sit well at all for those that believe in good old-fashioned hard work. It doesn’t sit well with me.
Just one article from the Advance paper kind of gives you a snapshot of the way things work. The information was probably provided as a perfectly logical explanation, I was supposed to read it and accept things as such. The article starts on the front page Wednesday July 28, 2010 titled; “Wonacott earns high grades from Blissfield council”. Here’s a link to the online version with a different heading.
Wonacott’s grades were tabulated from five of the seven council members, two members grades weren’t even calculated but they reported the incomplete numbers anyway. If you had stopped reading at that point, thinking the whole article was just blubbering over Wonacott’s golden review, you would have missed something that deserved its own headline. But first…
How much weight does an evaluation have from a council network that’s got each others back have Mr. Wonacott? Of course you would support sharing such an evaluation with the public, thanks for your generosity of sharing that particularly biased information with us.
And then we segue into “Council voted 7-0 to name Darlene Southward to the Downtown Development Authority board”. This move is unethical and a conflict of interest by many individual standards. It doesn’t pass the “smell” test, it doesn’t pass the “common good” or “virtue” test either. I have lost any remaining trust with our local government because of it.
The position was probably still open after two months because of efforts to demoralize and demean those that have expressed interest in the past. Other willing would be participants have been told they didn’t qualify when in fact they did. People by nature are not gluttons for punishment. How many would continuously subject themselves to sure and certain criticism? I am very saddened to have found too many people just don’t want to get involved anymore. I bet there are a great many good people we have lost from Blissfield because of unsavory politics.
Mr. Southward, did you go door to door in an attempt to fill the position, like you did when you weren’t happy with your choices of applicants for a previous open position on the DDA board?
Appointing a family member to serve and be subordinate to another family member is called nepotism, a conflict of interest and unethical…by most people’s standards. Most boards have a written code of ethics that list this exact scenario. Favoritism and partiality are also on all those ethics lists. It doesn’t take much attention to detect a whole lot of favoritism going on as select businesses are supported and others not. Just because Blissfield refuses to write a code for themselves doesn’t mean they don’t still have an obligation to be ethical.
Mr. Brown, do not most husband and wives vote for the same elected officials? Crack a good joke, it’s a great diversionary tool that marginalizes the issue at the same time. Who knew?
Some people use this kind of information to gauge whether their public officers are serving self or are serving the community.
Mr A. Ray Jones, “so if anyone brings up the issue, so what?” So what?? So long as the system’s working for you right?
The board has already made it known publically that they are going to work around the law to get themselves paid. Gee, that would be a nice family bonus for both the Guetschows and Southwards.
Other problems I see with this is;
- If the DDA was supposed to accomplish everything (they had eighteen years to do it) the Michigan Main Street program is going to accomplish isn’t it just a novel way to contract out their responsibilities (not my expectations, their own mission statement – the reason they were allowed to capture taxes from other services)?
- Wasn’t the creation of the DDA also a novel way to contract out the Village President and/or Trustees responsibilities?
- Why would the council approve the Michigan Main Street application when the DDA had no plan to pay for the new government employee position to be created for the Michigan Main Street Director? If there was a plan…can we see it? I’d like to know how they found the funds.
- How can Blissfield get fixed if the same damaging stuff is going on? If we continue on the same path with the same people, will we be expecting different results?
To others and the person(s) that brought up the conflict of interest at that council meeting; If you, your opinions or concerns have been snickered at or demeaned and if the experience has left you feeling there might be something wrong with your intellect…think again. The response was designed to make you feel that way. It’s a classic tactic used to keep you from coming forward. We also need to recognize when we’re being thrown a bone that’s supposed to prove good intentions, like an online vote to select a village logo for instance.
To those that didn’t know Blissfield even had problems that should be fixed; it’s an underground thing. And you just have to be in the right place at the right time to feel the effects and witness the workings.
- We need to remove the power to abuse the system.
- We need to dissolve the DDA.
- We need to elect officials that have the community’s interest at heart.
- We need to elect officials that know what ethics and obligations are.
- We have needed unity and business retention not factions, exclusionary practices and agendas that aren’t business or community friendly.
- After we accomplish that, we need to demand accountability.
If they don’t get it right, it’s left up to us, the rest of the community. Do ask some questions but don’t fall for pat answers…disseminate the information and decide for yourself what is right, what is moral and what makes good business sense. Why would we be throwing good money after bad? How much will any other efforts help when we have not addressed the root of the problem?