If all of the money being spent for the slick ads to “sell consolidation” had been spent for job creation etc., think of all that could have been accomplished for job creation! If you add in the dedication, energy, time and money spent to develop the proposed Metro Charter, think what could have been accomplished for a better Memphis and Shelby County (and Lakeland, etc.)!
I received an e-mail from a Memphis business person on why he supported consolidation, and I respect his opinion. In fact, he had some outstanding thoughts on city/county cooperation if the charter isn’t approved. His ideas could have been implemented with much less money and time than have been spent on the consolidation push and accomplished much more.
Memphis obviously has a large resource of brainpower, money and energy, why wasn’t it used for job creation and a better Memphis and Shelby County rather than spent on pushing consolidation?
That thought went through my mind as I looked at the recent slick ads and e-mails being sent out by an organization that apparently has unlimited funds to “sell” consolidation to Shelby County residents. Some of the ads are actually disturbing in the way they portray Shelby County residents who honestly disagree with the proposed charter and consolidation.
What really bothers me is the continued messages that:
-The message that if you are against consolidation, you “hate Memphis” or don’t support a strong Memphis
-If you disagree with pro-consolidation ads, etc., you either are “lying” or a “liar”.
In fact, almost everyone I know supports a strong Memphis, we realize a strong Memphis is best for all of us. We may not agree that consolidation is the way to do it, but that hardly makes us “liars”.
Personally, when I travel outside of Tennessee, I have always gotten positive responses when I tell people I’m from Lakeland, Tennessee, which I follow up “is right next to Memphis”. (In fact, I live about 200 yards from Memphis). Most people don’t know much about Lakeland, but everyone has a positive comment about Memphis! (Some might be slightly misguided as was the person who told me how much they enjoyed their visit to Memphis and the “Grand Old Opry” while they were in Memphis, but I just smiled and agreed it was impressive!).
In fact, thinking about it, I don’t know of any “Lakeland” that didn’t have a “Memphis”, nor am I aware of any “Memphis” that doesn’t have a “Lakeland”.
Even more disturbing is the continued message that an honest disagreement is “lying” or we are all “liars”. A Charter is NOT an inflexible document, it is what persons interpret it to be, and the persons who are in office, and I know I have a right to an opinion about the proposed charter and consolidation. People also have the right to call me a “liar” just because they differ in the way I interpret the impact of the Charter, but it doesn’t do a lot of good. In fact, it makes me suspicious of their intentions and makes it much more unlikely I will listen to them at all.
I don’t disagree on one thing. “Read the Charter” if you wish to learn for sure what it says. In fact, the City of Lakeland probably has as much information on our web page on the Charter and consolidation as anyone. Read it.