An open letter to Haltom City…

I sent this to the entire Haltom City Council, the Mayor, and the City Managers:

Regarding this story.

Simplified…

The folks were washed out.
They hired a contracter to cleanup, who took the money and ran.
The city says, “Clean it or we fine you.”
They say, “We can’t. Help?”
Assistant City Manager Chuck Barnett essentially says, and I admit, politely at that, “Too bad, so sad. Good luck with all that…”

No disrespect intended, but this story represents exactly what has gone wrong with government at nearly every level today.

Threats and fines. “Do what we say or else…” As a Texan, born and raised, I’d call that blackmail and threats.

Aimed at the folks that have no resources to tell you to bugger off, at that. They stand to lose what meager assets they have left.

Here, we have enforcers…coercers…bullies…not leaders. Way to go guys. Yeah, yeah, “just doing your job” and “that’s they way everybody does it”. Seen it. Heard it. Used by every tyrant in history in fact. We’re better than that.

Citizens are not supposed to live at and for the whim of city government. Citizens do not serve you. You serve *them*. When did we forget that?

Your actions are not making the situation better. They are not helping *anybody*. You’ve heard the saying, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”, that ol’ thing? Yeah, it still counts.

I do understand that things need to be cleaned up. So, clean them up. A “safety risk?” Boy, there’s an overused term. Marginal, but sure, a nuisance. It’s not going to explode though.

Put a dumpster out. A big one. Empty it when it fills up. The city has the resources for that. Yeah, I know you can attach a “cost” to that, but really, the resources are there already. There’s so little additional cost involved for a deployment and dump that it doesn’t even register.

That’s simple sanitation…something your citizens are billed for monthly.

Put out the dumpster, ask for volunteers. Better yet, put on your jeans and work gloves, grab a crowbar and a shovel, and hold your next city council meeting there.

The landowners that say, “No, you can’t clean here.” THOSE are the ones you pull out the big guns on.

Pull a cop off revenue enhancement…ur…traffic duty and find the fraudulent contractor. I fail to see how running off with the money without doing the job is strictly a civil matter. It’s called theft.

In short, lead, don’t direct. Don’t blackmail. The test is a simple one…are your actions making the situation better?

Then maybe some new actions are in order.

Sincerly,
Daniel Meyer
Author, Adventurer, Electrician.

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One Response to An open letter to Haltom City…

  1. dominic says:

    Daniel,

    It seems in a situation like this, it might not be a far cry for people from around to take a weekend to help the local citizens out, should the city decide to be gracious enough to do such a thing as drop off dumpsters.

    I know I (and probably several friends) would have no problem spending a weekend helping people out.

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