Sunday, January 04, 2009

The "Mind Game"

Local Reflector said...

Please, if you can, support the Delta Democrat Times and give new leadership a chance to prove itself. Granted, the early part of this decade saw the previous managers play deference to local politicians who don't want the public to get in tune with what's happening under their leadership. The perception was a reality, then, and may've contributed to philosophical disagreements between some subscribers and the publisher. It's one thing to cheer lead for a region, it's another to insist that the general public turn its head or be labeled as a malcontent.

Granted, there's a difference between attacking the newspaper emotionally and noting the growing number of wire stories being published daily. Remember, that media outlets are 100% dependent on local merchants to advertise with some national advertising purchases. As car lots find sales plummeting and other industries survive the recession, becoming monopolies with no pressure to market to a captive audience, you'll see media financial struggles. The result is fewer reporters with the same or growing demands of the readership.

TV news does make the spot news coverage dated in the newspaper but young television reporters may not have the time to dig deeper or sufficient training (at this stage of their career) to follow complex issues. Their audiences won't allow a slower news pace so it's "run and gun." However, advertising solely funds TV newsrooms to broadcast to larger audiences but there's no "pay per view" aspect to subscribing to watch local news whereas a daily paper subscription IS pay to view. There is a niche on which to capitalize. Is there enough of a paying audience and reading audience to justify advertising in local media and thus helping reporters earn a small living in Greenville? It's a dilemma facing newspapers and local broadcasters across this country as people forgo the knowledge of what's happening on their street in favor of nightly cable "political entertainment" shows many assume to be journalistic programs over editorial platforms on strictly national issues.

The DDT could learn much from the success of the "Delta Scoop" by and large. There's a lot of whining on here but there are always stubbles among the hay. News die-hards seek engagement when discussing the issues. They are few but they are empowering to reporters, each other and to those who are seeking better understanding and involvement.However, an independent media must be cultivated. It's not enough to silence "everyman critics and it's NO public service to for there to be no journalist watchdogs on city hall or the county courthouse. A hybrid relationship serves the same purpose for readers as having no newspaper or local news broadcast. One media outlet may disappear but if the existing news outlets don't tell it "straight," what's the difference?

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, LR. You've been missed.


Anonymous said...

Local Reflector I agree with all you have said and i have enjoyed our local paper for over 50 yrs.

Now let me state how hard it is to support our local businesses under the present leadership. Yes it is very hard! Mayor Hudson has created the worst disaster in Greenville since the 1927 flood. Yes Greenville survived the flood and flourished but under our present leadership we are on a path that will end in failure if the leadership does not change. Even if she resigns we will be no better off with Gines so we are literally in a no win situation.

Mr Jefcoat had us in descent shape and after he left it was all downhill. Mayor Hudson wants this city black and wants to do it with grant money and government assistance 100%. Well mayor Greenville was not built that way. Greenville was built by business leaders who loved greenville and wanted to make a difference instead of just getting elected for a pay check. There is not 1 successful business leader on council.

Sure there are some good people on council and some really want to make a difference but it has not happened under Hudson. The Morale in Greenville is terrible. It is no longer a place to come shop. The crime is terrible. The streets are terrible. No business wants to come here. The people who spend money do it outside of Greenville.Wake up Mayor!

The fact is 35 per cent of the Greenville population is paying 100 per cent of the taxes and the rest are unemployed and getting government assistance with no ambition to do better.The city is crumbling around us and regardless of economy and excuses the present leadership is responsible.

There is not a industry or business that could make a difference by locating in Greenville coming here until we clean Greenville up and have a major change at city hall. Bottom Line.


Local Reflector responds:

Greenville needs more of the entrepreneurial spirit, there's no question but that's a spirit that is cultivated or inspired as people believe in their abilities. Many times, grant monies short circuit the process by funding ideas or proposed ideas without a diligent audit of the grant recipients' ability or motivation to actually act on the proposal not to mention short-circuiting the natural forces that dictate whether a proposed program or project is an effective or "good" idea or whether it needs to be replaced with the next experiment.

Once grant recipients get acclimated to a steady paycheck via grant money, it KILLS the process entirely.Why would a non-profit agency or citizen "activist" want to solve community challenges if the existence of the challenge (and its worsening) means more money, more pay and more political clout for the supposed expert? Grants can do great things for cash-strapped communities....paving roads (but in a timely manner) is one such benefit.
But it depends on leaders at the local level actively working and not holding meetings, issuing soundbites and insisting that the public hear they're working hard yet are helpless in facing the situation at hand. These economic development meetings are basically the same meeting being held over and over and over. I believe a severely apathetic general public allows this to occur. Apathy allows the incompetent to reign without worry while cheating the community of brain power and intellect (as people choose NOT to offer possibly constructive ideas or honest "medicine").

If 35% of the people are paying 100% of the taxes, I don't think that fact is lost on Greenville leaders. I certainly do not believe they would purposely punish taxpayers though you taxpayers may feel punished. If they keep raising taxes, they risk greater outward migration of citizens with the financial means to move away from the fiscal policy. If they start cutting services, they'll alienate tax payers who believe they are getting NOTHING for their tax payments instead of the current disappointment.

In summary, your legacy families will stay and go down with the proverbial ship and don't have the answers - they ruled the area well before a second-term mayor. A new influx of new citizens, while openly supported, probably isn't so popular behind closed doors and at a personal level (where new residents would feel their sense of "home" when arriving).

So, how do you inspire a generation of people while instilling a work ethic and removing excuse? Civic leaders are talking a talk but the "walking" must be done by the displaced workers who'll earn a paycheck and then stimulate the local economy. Think Textron. Employees who said they needed work effectively ruined it making the Greenville plant not worth the company's efforts in spite of heavy economic development subsidies.

Local leaders really are helpless except to adjust or maintain tax rates and public expenditures to keep current taxpayers somewhat stable and attempt to hold population levels. I don't envy the job. I've never bought into the power of positive thinking without an effort to create a business-friendly environment (public school quality, acceptable crime levels, quality water & sewer and decent property tax rates to encourage relocation and home purchases).

Remember, if most of the people are on gov't. assistance....and most of the political and civic leaders benefit from the transfer of gov't. payment monies into their businesses (rents, gambling, etc), then it's an uphill climb to get potential workers to earn their way off the dole, cutting off guaranteed subsidies AND the guaranteed cash flow of local business and political interests who thrive of the steady cash transfer on a monthly basis.

I'm afraid your economy is based on low and no-income citizens transferring its finances (in tiny pieces) to smaller class of leaders who benefit financially and offering its subsequent apathy to current incumbents. It's a mind game, really.

Good to hear from our old friend "Local Reflector". As always, he has a firm grip on the current maladies that plague our community.

The prevailing mentality of our local government is "what's in it for me?" When fiscal misbehavior is permitted, it is in essence "promoted" and it quickly spreads throughout all aspects of local government. Soon, even an "honest" official realizes he has but two options: get on the take, or get out.

I agree with LR that we are caught up in a mind game... or as I would more aptly call it, "The Quiet Game." I keep quiet about what you do and you keep quiet about what I do... a "don't ask, don't tell" philosophy that has served its players well under Mayor Hudson's reign.

Is there hope for Greenville? Yes, there is always hope, but not without action from the few remaining taxpayers. Until we demand better, we should not expect it.

Forthright

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Monroe used to be our sister city, But has far out grown our city. Now we are heading to be another Pinebluff ark. and that is scary!!! That town is in VERY bad shape if you didn't know..

If the mayor of New York City can clean that place up.......................

And yes I agree there should be a law against raunchy color choices for local houses.

Go Figure said...

Hey fellow Greenvillians! You know that house you can't sell because its value has dropped to near nothing? Well, not according to the tax assessor. Mark Seard announced tonight that your property taxes will be going up in 2009. We already pay the highest road taxes (car tags) in the country, but now, even though you can't sell your home at any price, our city now deems it "more" valuable. Wow, that just makes my brain hurt!

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding!!! No reason to wonder why people are leaving here.

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding!!! No reason to wonder why people are leaving here.

I got out in the nick of time. said...

Did you ever walk home at night from a scary movie and think you might not make it to your front door before the monster grabed you, then as you grabed the door knob and got in your house you breathed a sigh of relief? Well now you know how I felt after leaving Greenville 4 years ago. As I was driving out of town, I breathed a big sigh and thanked the Lord I was getting out in the nick of time! Wow that was a close one!

Anonymous said...

Anyone that still has hope for G'ville is either stuck there because they work for DADDY or just plain STUPID!!!!! G'ville is a lost cause. Get out while you can still leave with some dignity instead of dead broke for trying to hold on to NOTHING!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't work for Daddy. My education is likely more credentialed than yours. My dignity is intact. I have a job that I love in a community that I treasure among people that I respect. Who could ask for more than that?

Anonymous said...

The fact in any community is that there will reach a point when the circumstances make the area attractive for some form of investment.

It's like a stock everyone bails on but you're pretty sure the company's not going to completely vanish (a city won't vanish into thin air), when the price gets low enough, someone watching will start buying.

A military base would be perfect.

Anonymous said...

As a casual reader of this blog, I am yet again amazed at the negativity expressed in some of the comments. While I admit Greenville has more than its share of problems, the real question is what is being done about it by the readers of this blog? Does anyone who actively reads and posts on this blog participate in community and/or economic development discussions? If so what were the results?

Even better do any readers of this blog officially question or challenge the decision made by the City Council/Board of Supervisors? I have a feeling if half the readers of this blog would routinely request to be put on the agenda of the city council and board of supervisors to air their requests things might change.

As to economic development, Greenville needs to lure the tow boat industry back. Given the increase in river traffic, high fuel costs, and other incentives the time is ripe for a rebirth of the towboat business and all the accompanying spin-off.

I am doing nothing said...

No, I'm not doing anything about G-villes problems, I left years ago!

Anonymous said...

To ANONYMOUS 6:10 You need to get your money back for that education you are so proud of.
You're not real smart staying in G'ville working for peanuts probably and just getting by because of the taxes ,private schools, high fuel bills and your econmy going down the tube so quick that you and your 6th grade education can't get out probably. I bet you don't even own a house like 75% of G'ville. Oh and 75% are on some kind of assistance too. Now who's smarter , those of us that got out in time or you and all your kind that stayed and have nearly lost all your equity in your home, that is if you own a home. Hold on to your "dignity" cause thats all your gonna have left soon.

Anonymous said...

Bwahahahahahaha! Read 4:22's comments! What kind of redneck logic is that? SO GLAD HE'S GONE!

Anonymous said...

It appears that 4:22 is glad he is gone also.....

Anonymous said...

Mayor Hudson has created the worst disaster in Greenville since the 1927 flood. Yes Greenville survived the flood and flourished but under our present leadership we are on a path that will end in failure if the leadership does not change. Even if she resigns we will be no better off with Gines so we are literally in a no win situation. Mr Jefcoat had us in descent shape and after he left it was all downhill.
Mayor Hudson wants this city black and wants to do it with grant money and government assistance 100%. Well mayor Greenville was not built that way. Greenville was built by business leaders who loved greenville and wanted to make a difference instead of just getting elected for a pay check. There is not 1 successful business leader on council. Sure there are some good people on council and some really want to make a difference but it has not happened under Hudson. The Morale in Greenville is terrible. It is no longer a place to come shop. The crime is terrible. The streets are terrible. No business wants to come here. The people who spend money do it outside of Greenville.
Wake up Mayor !
The fact is 35 per cent of the Greenville population is paying 100 per cent of the taxes and the rest are unemployed and getting government assistance with no ambition to do better.
The city is crumbling around us and regardless of economy and excuses the present leadership is responsible.
There is not a industry or business that could make a differece by locating in Greenville coming here until we clean Greenville up and have a major change at city hall.

Bottom Line.

Anonymous said...

9:10 you're just ticked because you are stuck in the worst place in the continetal United States in nearly every category. As to being a redneck I would be happy to compare with you our background checks.HA HA HA And yes I am very happy I got out of there with all my assets before they were depleted.

Local Reflector said...

I'll always pull for the Delta to succeed but I left there a few years ago as well. While there, the only way I really felt I could stir emotion and fight apathy was through Delta Scoop, so I launched it for $17 to buy an easy website that's now expired. I tried to physically help in the community. My participation wasn't welcome among the local civic leaders so, BOOM, the Local Reflector was born.

One can accuse many blog participants and commentators of doing nothing but talking negatively. From my perspective a few years ago, just offering an outlet was better than keeping quiet, being censored and saying nothing at all, thus guaranteeing no debate.

I'll challenge those who call existing residents "nay-sayers" to speak to the aspects in terms of civic, economic and educational policy matters. Real policy and real leadership - don't fall back on comments like Greenville has a great steak house,had local writers, a rich blues heritage and other philosophical anesthetics that prevent true issues discussions. The truth is that without discussing cultural offerings that really don't advance the economy or truly increase the overall quality of life (but would hurt it if they vanished), the issues are tough for Washington County.

REAL "meat n' potatos" policy discussions cause pain right now. They did for my entire life in the Delta. I'll admit.....I wouldn't know what to do either.