Friday, September 24, 2010

The Backdoor Deal: A Political Nightmare

I've grown up in a society where loyalty, chivalry, gentlemanship and other words relating to honor and truth have been practically non-existant. A society where morals and scruples have been thrown out of the window in favor of gossip, rumors and backstabbing. I am far from the higest example of righteousness, but I retain moral values and acceptable social practices.

I offer up my sincerest apologies if I sound as though political unjust is something new to American life, because it is not. However, I feel a duty, as any red-blooded American should, to point out political injustice and bad morals held by our public officials. Now, one could make it their sole duty to go about with such activity and find that there are not enough hours in the day, nor enough days in a lifetime to accomplish the purging of moral defilement by public officials. So, all we can do it duly note these occurances and pray to God that the tides will change.

When becoming involved with "politics" whether a real or perceived involvment, it becomes ever more frustrating. You quickly realize that you hold the sole connection to moral right out of all those in the room. What is it they say, "Tangle with a skunk and you'll smell like one." George Washington once said, "Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company." These are true quotes of politics. Often, it is easier to stay far away; run from the skunk. Unfortunately for Mr. Washington, if I held my reputation to the highest esteem, I would probably end up as a hermit.

The Revolution of 1776 provided a far different time and a drastic difference in Patriotic fervor. Today's Patriotism is far different from the Patriotism of 1776. Nationalism and feelings of pride and love for one's country have become synonymous with terms such as racism and xenophobia. Today's Patriotism involves looking out for everyone's feelings. It is amazing how those who have no morals or scruples, can consider themselves as the highest moral example in the world. This would explain why our society has changed so drastically.

The point I wish to address is the current situation with Historic Preservation in Albion, yet again. As the commission nears closer to the end goal of reestablishing a preservation district in the Village, a limited number of opponents surface with attempts to slowly dismantle the commission and preservation efforts in Albion. As informational letters made their way to the homes of potential future landmarks, a small group met behind close doors in a perceived effort to cease, or at least stall, efforts to establish a district. This small group consisting of less than five people, claim to represent the entire Village body. However, a recent survey revealed that nearly 80% of residents were favorable of historic preservation in Albion. Perhaps that 80% are lying?

In the 1960s and 1970s, a large number of mansions were destroyed in Albion in favor of the urban sprawl movement. The hope was that Albion's economy would be revitalized by strip malls. Apparently the addition of some chain restaurants and vacant buildings haven't done much for economic betterment. The Village Board saw Historic Preservation as a way to revitalize Albion, officials who were elected by the residents. Almost 11 years later and the law is still in place. Clearly the Village sees preservation as a way to better the situation. However, there are still efforts by a few who feel that they represent the best interests of the Village. Albion is finally on the rise, community involvement and connection is increasing. One might think that preservation efforts have helped to do this. 40 years ago, the lack of interest in preservation efforts and Albion's history placed the community in the position it was when preservation was introduced. Instead, those few prefer to focus on the past and negative happenings, thinking that the way to move forward is to live in the past. This is to retain status quo.

Though one might say, "Isn't historic preservation living in the past?" No. It is an process for economic betterment that utilizes the local buildings that set Albion aside from all other communities as a way to increase property values, create investment options and interest and promote the beauty of Albion's history.

To end this post, why do we waste time beating around the bush? Wouldn't it be easier to say what you mean and mean what you say?