Friday, February 04, 2005

Echo Whispers

With apologies to "local" author Patrick Naville, I'm appropriating the title of his fascinating novel (it imagines a world in which Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid survive their cinematic shootout, only to run afoul of the Capone mob in Prohibition-era Chicago).

I'd like to echo the sentiments expressed today at NA Confidential. Along with the "echo," I'll add a little "whisper" down below.

It is not the purpose of Volunteer Hoosier to target any person or institution. It is intended to highlight the needs of this region and to identify reasonable means for meeting those needs.

Long before our bookstore ever existed, we planned for a series of quarterly public affairs symposia. We've now scheduled the first one for March 2. That's a Wednesday and starting at 7 p.m. we'll host a panel of passionate citizens who will discuss "New Visions for Downtown New Albany."

This first event will be at Destinations Booksellers, which is in the heart of the historic district at 604 East Spring Street. The store will close early that day and we expect an overflow crowd.

Each participant on this moderated panel brings a wealth of ideas and experience to the event, and each tends to represent one or more important viewpoints that will be critical to the prosperity of the city over the coming decades.

We are inviting a number of other active citizens to make 2-minute presentations on particular topics which the panel will discuss.

I've had a lot of feedback about this symposium and not all of it is good. Some people seem to feel threatened by it, as if it's presumptuous for a group of citizens to take it on themselves to discuss solutions to the obvious problems facing the city and its central business district.

Well, tough. I can imagine only one type of person who would feel, make that two types.

The first would be someone in a position of responsibility who is not doing his or her job for this city. The people I've talked to and who helped to select the topic for this first symposium are exactly the people who stand ready as allies to help anyone who has dedicated themselves to the progress of this city.

The second type would be anyone who has arrogated to themselves the sole power to decide matters for this town. As the music man said, if that's the case, there be trouble right here in River City.

If you're not doing your job, feel threatened.

If you think it's your right to decide, whether out of personal profit or petty pride, feel threatened.

Neither of those describes you? Then join us as we share and discuss ideas of mammoth scope and ideas simply consummated. Add to the conversation with your ideas by dropping us a note, mailing us an envelope, or posting a comment on this blog.

We'll keep posting if you'll keep reading.


For stimulating ideas and research, you owe it to yourself to check out NA Renewal and the bloggers thereon.


Blogger Brandon W. Smith said...

Some people feel that "it's presumptuous for a group of citizens to take it on themselves to discuss solutions..."???

WHAT NATION ARE YOU FROM? If whoever it is thinks that the "citizens" should go through the established channels of local government...then perhaps they should make those channels more accessible and responsive.

Thank God for our freedom of speech and freedom to assemble...hate to think what these yokels would do to that if they had the power.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at such a sentiment. I'll laugh for now.

Friday, February 04, 2005 9:06:00 PM  
Blogger The New Albanian said...

The silence from Destinations is most ominous ...

Monday, February 07, 2005 2:43:00 PM  

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