Legislating social agendas… Perpetuating community discord
Posted: 26 March 2013 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Manhattan is a dynamic community.  We have seen monumental growth, while other communities have suffered through difficult economic times.  Manhattan is governed by a Commission whose charge is to conduct the business required to keep the City running.  I do not believe this City Commission’s mission should be to legislate social and religious agendas.  I do not believe this City Commission’s mission includes taking on the personalities of their favorite Washington D.C. politician and imposing the hate and discord we’ve witness, there, to the citizenry of Manhattan.
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We have local religious leaders… one who recently ran for office and was handily defeated… sending letters and e-mails suggesting this election should be about religious and social issues.  We have far left leaning groups doing robo calls telling us not to vote for certain candidates because they may not have the same social views.  As long as this community builds bonfires in the City square and crucifies elected officials due to social issues, we will see good ideas and fiscal issues go lacking.

Support those who share your social idealogy in your church, synagogue, mosque, or philathantropic organization.  When it comes to voting for City Commission, elect those who will work with each other for the good of the fiscal health of this community.  Let the political pundits continue inciting neighbor to dislike neighbor.  Keep it out of City Hall!!!!

There are 7 candidates on the ballot.  From the candidate forums and from campaign support e-mails, it becomes evident pretty quickly where candidates stand.  One is hard right.  Two are hard left.  One seems to think she is qualified, even though she doesn’t have an opinion on any issue.  One is underfunded and is probably not in the game.  Two are fiscally sound, yet have attempted to keep social issues from becoming front stage.  Hopefully, fiscal common sense will trump hate and devisiveness.

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Posted: 26 March 2013 08:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The commission in place right now was voted in for social and religious reasons, Larry. And as long as the commission is voting on social and religious issues that they are codifying into law, and members are supporting religious groups like Awaken Manhattan, then their social and religious beliefs are absolutely something that should be taken into account.

So if, say, there is a commissioner who once served while promoting Awaken Manhattan, who helped to make sure our town has an ordinance that specifically excludes GLBT rights, and said on public forums that he was Catholic, felt gay sex was “repulsive” and transpersons were “mentally ill,” then that absolutely, unequivocally shows a connection between personal and religious beliefs and the laws our town now has.

You’re pretending otherwise, but this is a small Kansas town, Larry, and no one is buying what you’re selling. Anyone who has been here for five minutes knows the score. Besides, you’re just trying to downplay certain problematic socio-theological statements made by a candidate whose reputation is starting to become more well known and less well liked.

(edited to fix typo)

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Posted: 26 March 2013 08:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yes, Stacia, we know you will spew your hate for former Commissioner Strawn whenever you have the chance.  We get it.  You blame Strawn for everything from the Titanic to Hiroshima.  Let’s clarify a few points….

You contend this commission was “voted in for social and religious reasons”.  Some went to the polls for those reasons.  Others did not.  I, for one, wanted some fiscal restraint.  Other than feeling the LGBT ordinace was flawed, as written, I could have cared less about that issue.  I was sick and tired of the spend, spend mentality and upset about the love affair between City Hall and Dial Realty.  When the pendelum swung right… it swung hard.  The one “social and religious reason” present in the last campaign was the LGBT ordinance.  The RIP, etc. were fiscal issues.

Yes, Commissioner Strawn opposed the LGBT ordinance as it was written and presented.  The ordinace was shoved down his throat by the liberal majority who felt they wanted authorship… wanted to attain some hero status with a special interest group.  Yes, Strawn “allowed” his personal religious feelings to come forth.  When pummelled and verbally assaulted for suggesting the ordinance would never stand if put to a vote… when chastised by fellow commissioners when he was basically told “We have the majority to pass this thing.  Sit down and shut up!”... he responded defensively. 

As for other candidates… one was a leader of pushing through the LGBT ordinance and has long suggested forcing local businesses to pay a specific wage to employees.  Another was a leader in having the Ten Commandments removed from in front of City Hall.  In your book, however, those may not qualify as “social and religious reasons”.

Oh, as to your “... while promoting Awaken Manhattan…”  The leader of that cult has issued an e-mail to his “followers” openly asking them NOT to vote for Bob because he is too moderate.  I guess I would like to know what “social and religious issues that they are codifying into law”.  The past commission did when pushing through the LGBT ordinance.  I know of no social and religious issues legislated by this commission.  They did rescind the LGBT ordinance.  I guess you could make the case that if one commission “codifies into law” social and religioius issues… championed by you… that is okay.  When the next commission rescinds said ordinance, that’s ‘hand-slapping time’.

I have been extremely impressed with Commissioner Jankovich’s integrity displayed when he has recused himself on numerous issues.  Rich has been a voice of reason and moderation.  I also believe Bob would be another moderate and common sense voice.  Too bad your vendetta of hate has to take on such a personal attack on someone who, I believe, served the community well while a sitting commissioner.

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Posted: 27 March 2013 03:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Larry Williams - 26 March 2013 08:56 PM

Yes, Stacia, we know you will spew your hate for former Commissioner Strawn whenever you have the chance.  We get it.  You blame Strawn for everything from the Titanic to Hiroshima. 

(...) As for other candidates… one was a leader of pushing through the LGBT ordinance and has long suggested forcing local businesses to pay a specific wage to employees.  Another was a leader in having the Ten Commandments removed from in front of City Hall.  In your book, however, those may not qualify as “social and religious reasons”.

(...) Too bad your vendetta of hate has to take on such a personal attack on someone who, I believe, served the community well while a sitting commissioner.

It’s not about a “vendetta of hate” no matter how much you claim otherwise. I have never lied about anything Bob Strawn has written on these forums or said in public meetings. Any reasonable person, even if they disagreed, would understand why some people would be offended by some things Strawn has said and done. That is not “spew” or “vendetta,” that is reporting incidents that have occurred, then expressing concern as to how this affected his last term in office and how it might affect his future term in office.

As long as the government on any level is legislating morality and basing laws on religious beliefs—and many laws regarding sexuality, gender identity, a woman’s autonomy over her own body, etc. are based very heavily on religious beliefs—then voters need to know about a candidate’s social beliefs, morals, religious beliefs, etc. That is true for local elections as well as national ones. My example was about Strawn. You give other examples, which prove my point rather than undermining it.

Larry Williams - 26 March 2013 08:56 PM

Other than feeling the LGBT ordinace was flawed, as written, I could have cared less about that issue. ... Yes, Commissioner Strawn opposed the LGBT ordinance as it was written and presented.  The ordinace was shoved down his throat by the liberal majority who felt they wanted authorship… wanted to attain some hero status with a special interest group.

That’s some pretty harsh language against LGBT rights for someone who allegedly could “care less” about the issue.

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Posted: 27 March 2013 04:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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We agree on the matter of “government on any level legislating morality and basing laws on religious beliefs”.  The elected officials in D.C. have been attempting to do that for the past few years.  Legislating religious beliefs is a priority of our current governor and his far right State legislature.  I hate seeing that come to our local elected body, but it has.  “Moral and religioius beliefs” would never have been part of the discussion, had the special interest group not moved an extremely contentious and poorly written ordinance through the system. 

I am not a landlord, nor do I rent here in Manhattan.  So, I could have “cared less” about the rental inspection program.  Should those renting homes have some protection against ‘slumlords’??  Certainly.  Yet, the “look at me I’m all about quality of life” commissioners pushed through the RIP ordinance.  Again, due to its being poorly written, a “Code Police” suddenly were charged with enforcing 2012 building codes on 1940 constructed dwellings.  Safety issues should have been addressed, not items like an eave downspout that was a different color than the house trim. 

We have two… and possibly three… candidates in this election who will jump at the chance to impose their policitcal vendetta against evil landlords and local religious organizations.  They will drool to spend money on recreational complexes and other “feel good” causes.  We have one candidate who will join the Limbaugh wanna-be on the current commission and legislate based on the sermons gleaned from Faux News broadcasts.  Manhattan deserves better than this.  I don’t want to set up weekly displays of political posturing between Nuss and McCulloh on one side and Matta/Ball on the other.  We suffered through… and our property taxes will ‘allow us the privilege’ of suffering for years to come… the Snead/Sherow/Hardeman liberal majority.  We saw the pendelum swing hard to the right and have seen a Matta/Butler/Pepperd ultra conservative majority do everything they can to stymie local government from doing what is needed to operate, yet cowtow to the cronies at the Chamber.  We need local government to do the business they are charged with and operate this City.  Rein in spending, but don’t threaten those falling on hard times… while jumping in bed with the social elite to spend money.  Stay out of the legislating your own morality of pushing LGBT causes through the local government or removing the 10 Commandments from the lawn of City Hall.  That’s why I would like to see the more common sense approach of Jankovich and Strawn.  I do believe those two will make every attempt to keep the special interest legislation… left or right… off the agenda that should include business and financial issues.

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Posted: 27 March 2013 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Larry Williams - 27 March 2013 04:21 AM

We need local government to do the business they are charged with and operate this City.  Rein in spending, but don’t threaten those falling on hard times… while jumping in bed with the social elite to spend money.  Stay out of the legislating your own morality of pushing LGBT causes through the local government or removing the 10 Commandments from the lawn of City Hall.  That’s why I would like to see the more common sense approach of Jankovich and Strawn.  I do believe those two will make every attempt to keep the special interest legislation… left or right… off the agenda that should include business and financial issues.

Again, I don’t believe it was the commission that “pushed the cause” of removing the Ten Commandments. That came about due to two lawsuits brought by private citizens in connection with the ACLU. Plus, it was (a) a U.S. Constitutional issue, not a local ordinance issue, and (b) it happened 14 years ago, and while I know you’re straining to try to do the fair and balanced thing by listing so-called liberal causes instead of conservative causes, it doesn’t really help you if the only two liberal causes “pushed” by various Manhattan commissions are over a decade apart, and one doesn’t really count anyway.

I am digging on your “legislating your own morality” excuse for being a majority who gets to pick and choose which minority/marginalized group gets the legal shaft. Calling marginalized groups “special interest groups” has been your thing for years, and it is always hilarious.

Have you thought this through, though? Do you realize the implications of what you’re saying? At the time of Loving v. Virginia, for example, only 20% of Americans approved of interracial marriage. By your logic, the Lovings were a special interest group, and anti miscegenation laws should never have been overturned because it was just people legislating their own morality to veto the 80% majority. How far do you take this, Larry? Women being allowed to vote should never have happened because it was just politicians legislating their own morality? Parts of the Constitution were just the Founding Fathers legislating their own morality, so let’s abolish it? Take out a few Amendments, maybe?

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Posted: 27 March 2013 09:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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“has long suggested forcing local businesses to pay a specific wage to employees:

It’s interesting how those who seem to oppose the so-called “living wage” always choose to misinterpret what the local efforts are about.  The Manhattan Living Wage Coalition has NOT “long suggested forcing local businesses to pay a specific wage to employees,” but ONLY for those businesses who are asking for a economic development hand-out.  And for those who always use the argument of not wanting to dictate or interfere with the so-called “free market,” it seems to me once a business asks for a government hand-out to give them a leg up, it’s no longer the “free market.”

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Posted: 27 March 2013 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The concept of the living wage has been integrated into the economic development application process through use of a scoring system.  That system has achieved the primary stated goal of the LWC – which is to ensure that companies that receive eco devo support at least pay a living wage.  That has been the case in the last three (including the one last night) eco devo applications.  I think the LWC can declare victory on that issue.  If the only goal and singular purpose of the LWC is eco devo, then I do not think anyone should be concerned.  The perception that some have is that the real goal of LWC is to push the effort to change the minimum wage and make greater inroads on what a private business must pay in wages.  Apparently that perception is false.  I can support the concept of high wages being a major component of any eco devo package.  I cannot however support any mission creep efforts to use the LWC concept to change the minimum wage or force any city ordinance that sets a wage requirement on business.

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Posted: 27 March 2013 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Except, as I’m sure you know, the scoring system is merely a guide and can be ignored by commissioners if they so choose.  As one candidate indicated at a recent forum, he uses a personal “smell test” to determine if a prospective business should be awarded economic development benefits.

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Posted: 27 March 2013 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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actually, what i said about ecodevo applications is that they should be low risk, lift the community’s standard of living, and make sense, i.e. meet the eyeball and smell tests.  always good to keep comments in context.

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Posted: 27 March 2013 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Yes, well, “eyeball and smell tests” mean what? 

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Posted: 27 March 2013 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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eyeball test means that a commissioner has to judge if an application makes sense by it’s very standing.  for example, a home grown company like civicsplus successfully making and marketing computer software technology here for some time now just looks like a position fit v. a foreign company making fertilizer through bio-systems, i.e. the smell test.

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Posted: 27 March 2013 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Which just makes my point that the scoring system is merely a guide, and commissioners are free to ignore it or consider other factors not reflected by the scoring system, and which is why the Manhattan Living Wage Coalition continues to want to make the wage floor a requirement.

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Posted: 27 March 2013 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I like data, and tend not to ignore numbers.  The formula that scores the applicants drives the process.  Without a good score the application might never make it to the Commission.  I did like Bob Strawn’s smell test comment at one of the Forums – the fertilizer company verses the computer company.  Smell test for sure – good one.

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