Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Facts, Opinions, and Dialogue

UPDATE: Some readers have corrected me on the issue of when the 47 million bond was approved. It looks like it was 2008.  The one I saw in 2006 was a smaller bond.  I am still looking for published results of the 2008 election.

Until recently, my blogging has been infrequent and “humorous”. One of the luxuries of writing humor is that I can choose when to stray from the truth for the sake of a laugh. Likewise, the people who tell me that my writing is funny have no obligation to the truth.

But now that I’m writing about community affairs, I try to be very conscious of what’s true – or at least documented, versus what is my opinion. I don’t want to mislead people, or get people charged up emotionally based on only a kernel of truth. I want people to know what’s actually happening, the way I want to know, and make informed decisions. In the best cases I hope more of you will get involved, even if it takes the ugly truth to wake you up, as it did me.

I try to stick to documented facts and separate it from my opinion clearly, so that I can maintain some respect among you readers.

Another reason I need to be very careful about the truth is that I don’t want to ruin someone’s personal reputation through untruths. Though I have never personally spoken with any of them, I have the greatest respect for the individuals on the School Board. They are giving the sacrifice of unpaid public service. I know that if and when we do meet, we can do so respectfully, and maybe even cordially, if I’m diligently honest about how I pluck their feathers.

Also, I don’t want to be sued.

On the other hand, I think they are ruining their own reputation as a board, and I am making it my mission to loudly assist them in that process – by simply reporting what I know – if they don’t take the hint and change their ways.

Here on this blog, you and I can have a public dialogue about these issues, and raise awareness in the community. I appreciate you commenters that have noted my understatements and overstatements in my loud-mouth recommendations. I also appreciate the anonymous commenter today who wanted to set me straight about the history of the bond measure that gave us the school expansion.

I, and at least one other reader, did exactly what we should have done when told of my “inaccuracies.” I went to the source, and confirmed the truth. This is important, because honestly, I was working from memory before I was challenged on this fact. If I had been wrong, I would be posting that correction now.

So, to you commenters, anonymous or otherwise, I say bravo.

So to the specific issue raised today, I can say without a doubt that the bond measure passed in November 2006 with 54% of people who voted on this measure voting Yes. The rest of the figures are: 40% of the people who cast ballots that day in our district voted Yes. 26% of registered voters voted Yes. Here you can read the report yourself.

And the other fact I verified is that unemployment was at 5.1% that month, and it was 10.3%, more than double, last month.

Now, to the good man who was misinformed on these facts, I say, Thank you for reading and beginning to get involved and thinking about these issues. Keep reading, keep talking and listening, and let’s help everyone get the truth.

The other point, good fellow, is that the primary issue I wanted you to get from reading that blog was that YOUR tax money is paying for a 47 million dollar bond, and I’m concerned that this project may have been delivered without your best interests – and maybe not even the kids’ interest – as the top priority.

I really hope I’m wrong on that one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I support you 100% in getting information out to the voter. Ignorance creates an environment where there are no choices. We adults need to be more educated to ensure the education of the youth in our area. God bless America and our rights to speak, discuss, and to have representation for our tax dollar!