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Below is my response to being “smacked down” after posting on the Polson Heart and Soul Facebook timeline (original post July 16, my response August 10). If the original posts are removed, as has been threatened, here is a very brief background: H & S considers advice to “shoot for the moon” and posted an audio–an interview with a former Columbus, Georgia mayor. The mayor’s description sounds like Columbus is Utopia. In the 12-minute audio, not even a hint of any problems. Please don’t take my word for it, listen to it! I provided a balance to that view in the words of a local citizen. He described the changes in Columbus, Georgia as not all so wonderful. My response:

Hello Darlis. I was trying to have a conversation about our city’s future and was surprised by your criticism.  Did you read past Mr. Olsen’s opening? He provided information that could be compared to the words from former Columbus, Georgia mayor, Frank Martin. I listened to the Martin audio you posted and determined the former mayor was giving his “opinion” because not once in 12 minutes did I hear anything less than how absolutely marvelous Riverwalk has been for their city.

Mr. Olsen brought up the “fact” projects were initiated “unbeknownst to the public.” This happens. It reminded me of Polson’s Riverside and Sacajawea Park walkways. How many citizens knew about the recent projects until nearly $100,000 later? How many knew the Riverside pathway was intended to improve the triathlon event, which only 29 people out of the 259 people GPCF surveyed expressed favor for?

It is a “fact” that Columbus is experiencing financial problems. It would appear that poor spending decisions were made while fulfilling those Frank Martin visions; raising taxes is the unfortunate result. It is a “fact” the Riverwalk is not as lovely as the 12-minute audio would have one believe. Search “riverwalk” in their local newspaper, the Ledger-Enquirer, and you will see pages and pages of “factual” news reports of frequent Riverwalk crimes ranging from vandalism to extreme violence of the worst kind.

You see, Darlis, the truth is this: I AM concerned about Polson’s future. You are the local representative receiving instruction from the Orton Family Foundation, and because they have a partnership with Polson city government, you have an obligation to the people to be cognizant of one-sided or skewed “stories” you choose to post. It is unfair to only promote the “shoot for the moon,” “pie in the sky,” “maple syrup” and “red flannel pajamas” rhetoric without acknowledging “facts.”

The above mentioned comparison can be found here:

Mayor Frank Martin: http://www.gmanet.com/CivicStrategies.aspx?CNID=69789

Citizen Paul Olsen: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2012/07/16/2121874/hidden-costs-of-tsplost.html