When I taught school I always emphasized that students should avoid “gobblely-gook” at all costs.
In today’s mail I got a lot of “gobblely-gook.” I received the city’s reply to my questions concerning the CDBG application for $1million dollars in grant money for a performance hall downtown. I say I got a “reply” because many of the questions were not answered, or even remotely addressed, but simply had something written as a reply. One very critical question did not even receive a reply. I suppose if they had answered question 12, then the answer to question 9 would be incorrect; so, I guess they just decided to leave it blank and hope no one noticed. For the most part, their replies were weak, insufficient, nonspecific, contradictory, vacuous, inane, wrong, and just plain ridiculous in some cases.
The city government is failing its citizens. This is now obvious. CDBG program’s general purpose is to eliminate or prevent slums, blight, and deterioration in the community. For a grant to be awarded, the applicant, the City of Henderson, must have widespread citizen participation in planning. The goals and strategies of the grant must be consistent with the wishes of the public. I do not believe the city has met these objectives and their replies to the questions are the best proof of this.
If our city government assumes that the taxpayers are going to sit quietly by while the city obligates us to pay for ventures that the channels of public opinion have not endorsed, then they need to rethink. If a performing arts center is the priority of a segment in Henderson, and that segment is represented by the non-profit Embassy Foundation, then they should build it, operate it, manage it, finance it, and pay for it with everyone’s blessings. Do not obligate the city tax payers for any part of this venture even if there is a council that will rubber-stamp any Embassy Foundation request.
The credibility of the Embassy Foundation should not have to be questioned like this, but if and when questioned, it should stand up to the most intense scrutiny. Have they stood up to the scrutiny or have they dodged and faked left in the replies? I will be in the chat room on Thursday evening at 8pm for any who need clarification on my questions. Please continue to stay informed and keep our democratic government working the way it was intended to work.
Elissa P. Yount
July 29, 2008