Elephants Forced to Another Venue
The ongoing saga of Be My Guest’s sudden and unexplained closure caused the Greater Columbia County Republican Women some heartburn on Thursday, when their monthly meeting, in which attendees were encouraged to come as an American historical figure, had to be moved from Be My Guest to the Springlakes Clubhouse and Pool.
Though the Republican women made the most of a difficult situation, being shut out of their longtime home must have stung, though if anyone knew the reasons behind it all, they were being closed-mouthed. While it seems like most people would like to give owner Terri Freeman the benefit of the doubt, the longer the silence continues, the harder it’s getting.
In every birthing scene in every movie or TV show ever filmed, whether in a delivery room, a jungle or the back of a cab, there’s always someone leaning over the woman in labor shouting “Push!”
That’s kind of what happens when a community tries to give birth to a SPLOST list. Supporters get out there and yell “Push!” in hopes that the extra penny on the dollar comes into being.
Earlier this year in Richmond County, those supporters seemed to be a little late getting the memo about the due date, and when they finally showed up, it was too little, too late and the list was rejected, sending everyone back to the drawing board and putting the future of some of the projects, especially those wanted by outside agencies, in jeopardy.
For example, it’s hard to imagine tax payers coming back and authorizing $6 million to go toward an $18 million Fine Arts and Cultural Center at Paine College given the school’s current difficulties. Those already critical of outside agencies receiving SPLOST money now need only point to that one project as an example of how dangerous that policy could be. And with word that Senior Vice President Brandon Brown has been terminated less than a month after President George Bradley resigned amidst a laundry list of allegations, the prospects are only getting bleaker for the struggling college.
In Columbia County, however, people are wondering if there even is a memo.
The candidates are talking about the hospital component, but throw in the contingency list and the built-in confusion many voters have concerning what the SPLOST really is, and you’ve got a recipe for apathy.
Though there is tremendous support in certain segments of the community for the $9 million Cultural Arts Center that headlines the list, that support has yet to be directed into a call to action. Nobody is yelling “Push!” and many supporters worry that the referendum will be met with a shrug in the voting booth.
Shrugs don’t vote yes, even when yes is simply a continuation of a penny tax voters are already paying.
Last week’s Insider about the political forum/discussion William Melvin hoped to host at his Avant Williams barber shop and spa generated quite a bit of attention for Melvin.
Before the sun set on Thursday, Channel 6 was out there asking Melvin if he really planned on charging candidates to appear at his forum. On Friday, so was WGAC.
Publicly, Melvin is handling the criticism by portraying himself as a public-minded citizen who was simply unaware of the intricacies of political forums. Though he admitted he hoped the exposure would bring attention to his business (and really, who can blame him for that?), he continued to maintain that the fee was an upfront and pragmatic solution to the potential problem of not having a news crew willing to donate its time, though he never really explained how he could get that far in the planning without having a television crew of some kind lined up, especially since the event is planned for Friday morning.
Privately, however, Melvin distributed a harshly worded email condemning both the Insider and Channel 6 for putting a negative spin on his event. The email was particularly critical of the Insider’s decision to point out that the quotes published from the original email were unedited and therefore sometimes grammatically incorrect. From there, he came to the conclusion that the Insider had enjoyed a cushy college experience and should therefore be grateful that his military service had made it possible.
That was quite an assumption.
Regardless, there are still candidates out there whose calls haven’t been returned and who are feeling like not every candidate is equally welcome.
So stay tuned…unless Melvin can’t come up with a camera crew – or the candidate buy-in to afford one – in which case you’ll likely miss the whole thing.