If you weren't from Findlay, but have heard about the city through the regional/national media, what have you learned over the past year?
1) The city has major problems with flooding, and things are not going to get better for years.
2) Findlay is one of the best 100 communities in the country for young people.
3) This is a rust-belt town, where the population is 93% white, possibly racist, and where "people (in Findlay) are kind of funny about change" - and this was an actual quote from the Mayor.
4) Findlay is the home of the Super Bowl winning quarterback.
5) The local University won a national basketball championship.
6) A school in Findlay suspended a student for attending a prom.
Now, if you are a company looking for a place to locate your business...or if you are a couple looking for a nice place to start a family...or if you are a high school student looking for a school and community to spend the next four years...does the good outweigh the bad?
I think everyone understands how things can get blown out of proportion or how a few bad characters or circumstances can unfairly characterize a community. We hear about it all the time on the news. Yet, it seems like it is happening more and more to us.
Everyone is smiles when Findlay gets mentioned alongside Big Ben, or Gavin Creel, or the Oilers. It is nice to see our name in lights or associated with winners. When we see these successes, we take it is a credit to our hometown and belief that the way these people were raised and supported over the years was correct. We feel that we are doing it right.
So how do we feel when the opposite happens? How do we feel when national media portray the city in a negative light? Do we accept personal responsibility for what happened, or do we explain it by saying that those from the outside do not know who we really are.
Flooding still happens, and yet we blame the Army Corps of Engineers for not being able to move fast enough on a solution. Not happy with our local representatives; no one runs for office and an (almost) entire slate of candidates will be unopposed in November. A student decides to attend a dance and understands the punishment for doing so; blame the school and principal for their archaic rules.
Maybe we aren't that different from how we're portrayed. It is difficult to look at ourselves objectively and see how our responses may be inappropriate. Instead of looking to put the burden on others, maybe we should look inwardly to see how our actions and words affect others.
Do you want to stop the cycle of negativity and ignorance and contribute positively to your community, or do you want to sit in the background and do nothing? Do you want to help organize your neighbors to accomplish something, or do you want to hide behind an electronic veil and spew hatred and ignorance through on-line comments? The civic and organizational leaders that I grew up admiring and being mentored by would choose the former. How about you?
When I started this post, it was more out of concern that Findlay was portrayed inaccurately. Now, I'm not so sure what I'm trying to convey. It just seems that with the economy in the dumps, and all the financial issues in the community, and the fighting over layoffs, and the name calling and bad feelings that have developed...it is going to take more than a letter to the editor by Mayor Sehnert to get a positive attitude flowing through the city again.
I'm not sure what to even suggest at this point. It is frustrating and enough to give me a headache. It physically hurts to see us in this kind of mess. I know there are people out there who feel the same way, so I'm looking to you for help. What do we do? What can we do? It is up to us!
Over the next several weeks, months and (hopefully) years, we will explore the local, state and national political landscape. Together, we will try to understand what is happening in the political arena, and how decisions made by others can affect all of us.
- Sunday, May 6, 2007
WOW! Has it really been two years? 400+ posts later, I am still standing.
Oh, that Barney Rubble. What an actor.
As with any anniversary, it is a time to look back and reminisce about the wonderful days that have gone by. It seems like just yesterday that I was talking about Andy Peters' mustache. Since I started, Findlay elected a new mayor and the country has a new President.
Looking back over the past two years, I found a few of my favorite posts (Top 10) and wanted to share them with you again
Those certainly bring back some memories. Can you see how my design skills have changed over the past two years? If Levi says I am improving, then it must be so.
Thanks to everyone who reads FCPolitico, make wonderful comments and send me messages. If it wasn't for you, I would not continue to do this. Thanks to Findlay Publishing for allowing me to do this and for sticking with me - even if I am busier than ever and cannot update every day.
I look forward to hearing from you. I may be the person in front of the keyboard, but your thoughts, suggestions and opinions are critical to the "fair and balanced" blog I have tried to develop. Please leave comments along the way, or contact me by e-mail (email@example.com) or via Twitter (updates at top of left hand column). With a little assistance from you, I think this journey will be interesting and informative. And who knows...maybe we'll all learn something along the way.
Most of all, however, thanks to my wife and kids. They have been very supportive about 'one more thing' I need to do some nights, and are understanding when I cannot give them my full attention. I love the three of you very much!!
A new municipal court judge, a preview of the second ward council contest, a renewal for Blanchard Valley, and a bevy of school levys across the county. The 2009 election does not have many contested races, but with the actions of the last few months by city and county administrators, it feels like 2009 is just a prelude to the next two years of elections.
With not much to vote for, the most interesting thing about tomorrow may be whether the enthusiasm from last November will carry over to this election. The board of elections is predicting that only 25% of registered voters will be going to the polls, but once again, I have faith that the people of Findlay and Hancock County are really going to come out tomorrow and beat that number.
Even if you do not feel like it, please get out to vote tomorrow. Our democratic process of electing leaders and then the transfer of power and responsibility from one person to another is one of the truly great things our government has sustained. It is a shame that so few people accept this opportunity for what it is: the right to have your voice heard. Get Out To Vote!