Hey, I'm a fan of both of these guys and I recognize good, healthy discussion when I hear it. Good, healthy discussion is what I heard on the Vincent David Jericho Program, on KSGF this morning. The podcast is listed as a "must listen," and for good reason.
I've suffered a few snide remarks from different quarters just like Jericho has because I expose information that sometimes, I think, the executive branch of the City of Springfield might not like exposed or discussed. It takes a strong stomach to take that sort of comment and remain focused on the main thing, the important thing. That important, main thing is what we got this morning on the Jericho program. We got what started out as a contentious argument but in the end became a real discussion.
We got two men defending their positions and, while they continued to disagree, the listeners of the Vincent David Jericho Program were treated to both sides of the argument and got insight into a government process that they might not have gotten otherwise. That, my friends, whether you agree with Jericho or you agree with Burlison, is valuable to the community.
So, my thanks to Vince for offering the platform and my thanks to Councilman Burlison for knocking on his door and giving voice to his reasons for voting for Burris. Listeners can make their own decisions about whether they liked, agreed with, or felt Burlison's argument was valid, I'm just impressed he stood up and made it.
The critics of the Council's choice for City Manager deserve to have legitimate complaints and questions addressed, and they should not be put down as if the word "critic" was a derogatory term.
When did being a critic, or a government "watch dog" group, or a questioning journalist become something of which to be ashamed? Too often people who have legitimate complaints in this community are written off instead of responded to and are treated as though they are an enemy of progress and an enemy of what is good for the community in which they all live and are invested.
To quote Mayor Tom Carlson:
"Any day of the week, I'll bet on people that have got real money at risk, time, money and effort to spend as opposed to the people from the peanut gallery" ~ Mayor Tom Carlson, October 16, 2007
Where I differ from Carlson is the distinction between "people that have got real money at risk," and "the people from the peanut gallery."
There should be no distinction.
Every single citizen of this city has real money at risk here, every single one of us. We all pay taxes into the city coffers and that tax money pays for core city services, economic development and the salaries of city employees and whether it comes from our money in the form of property taxes, sales taxes, federal taxes or state taxes it comes from the taxpayers, and the taxpayers ARE the people with the real money at risk.
Listen to the podcast, truly a "must listen." Get involved in your city and hold your elected officials accountable, however you feel directed. Sometimes that means holding them accountable for the good they do for your city, sometimes that means holding them accountable for the bad decisions they make and we all have an opinion about whether choices were, or are, good or bad. Without the sort of contentious dialog we heard this morning on the radio, forming those opinions about whether choices made on your behalf, by your elected officials were good choices or bad choices would be more difficult.
Mayor Carlson recently complained, ""It's not like it used to be, there's not the depth, there's not the scope, there's not the understanding on the part of the media, on the topics that they're covering." That understanding on the part of the media comes with discussion and that is what Vincent David Jericho offers to this community. Often, he can only offer one side of any given issue because there is no one from the city who will give their side of the issue. Today that was not the case. Councilman Doug Burlison knocked on the door and talked to the people who have real money at risk in this city, the taxpayers.
Thank you, Vince. Thank you Doug.
Note to Mayor Carlson: If you want understanding on the part of the media and therefore the citizens of Springfield, it takes hard work, it takes discussion, it takes real dialog, it takes Council members like Doug Burlison and, yes, it can sometimes get heated and be a bit unpleasant along the way.
If you are looking for sanitized, one-sided public information releases, you have an entire public information office working for you, isn't that enough?
The taxpayers want more than sanitized, one-sided public information releases and in the end, isn't that what is required for depth, scope and understanding? They get that other side from the media, the radio, the print media, other sources besides the city and City Utilities printing presses.
This morning the taxpayers got a chance for more depth, scope and understanding but it took some effort and discomfort on the part of a City Councilman who was willing to walk into an unfriendly atmosphere. The Council might not get paid for that but if the Council and Mayor want more understanding that is what it will take.
Great radio. A real public service!