Wendell Light Rail Company (Project)

Wendell Light Rail Company (Project)
Vintage trolley, mechanically new, in downtown Wendell (via Photoshop)

The REAL Wendell Community Blog

This blog replaces the Wendell Community Coalition Blog. This blog is the REAL Wendell Community blog and represents the diversity and freedom of speech inherent in our Federal Constitution. This blog is for everyone in Wendell and will not be censored by the blog master. This blog will be fair-minded and representative of the opinions of all Wendell citizens.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


This post constitutes an offer to reach an agreement about censorship with the owners of the Wendell Community Coalition Blog.  On Thursday, Nov. 5th, the blog-master changed their blog address to ‘wendell-alabama’ to keep my post from being read.  That resulted in this ‘wendell-nc’ address being released to the public.  On Friday, Nov. 6th, I posted my censored article, here.  I’m now offering to abandon this discarded address so the WCC blog-master can use the blog address they relinquished.  In return, I only ask that there be no more censorship in what I believe will now be the ‘opinion section’ of the WCC blog.  I hope the WCC blog owners will live up to their own blog prologue; please participate and open to all.  If the WCC blog-master will email me with his response to this offer, we can resolve this matter and get on with free expression of our respective views.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


“The fact that nobody can buy expensive homes is no reason not to build them.”
The inimitable logic embodied in this gem of wisdom escaped me until the results from this commissioner election came in.  Now, I realize that what we have, here, is a genius in our midst, a veritable prodigy on the verge of blossoming into a civic powerhouse, set to solve our town's ills, willy-nilly, with her unparalleled foresight.  What was I thinking?  Her quote, above, is so full of (?) um, sophisticated, um, perception?
I will now admit that my strategy was completely amiss.  What I failed to realize, is, that the voters can see right through a 58-yr-old, experienced civil servant with a mature, coherent understanding of economic dynamics, a track record of intelligent service to the electorate and a thorough, inquisitive work ethic.  Why didn't I see the handwriting on the wall, as it were, or maybe that should be the fidgeting on the podium?  I should have supported a 31-yr-old novice with no government experience, two years of residency, brash audacity, gratuitous over-confidence and a witty, haunting oratory style, evidenced by the quote at the top of this piece.  Those who, for reasons still unclear, paid an exorbitant amount of money in an unprecedented public relations stunt to present this blinding wizard to us clueless citizens as one third of a brilliant slate of shrewd strategists are obviously completely in tune with our un-informed residents and have provided us with the very expertise we need.  

I should be grateful, not perplexed.  I should see the error of my ways and reform my desire for conventional methods of resolving municipal dysfunction.  It doesn't make sense to employ skilled, veteran, knowledgeable, savvy administrators to accomplish the complex, interrelated tasks facing local government.  The answer is to eradicate diversity and usher in a Board of Commissioners who'll always vote together to accomplish only the agenda of the group that sponsors them.  That's democracy!  Now, we get what we voted for!  No more fooling around with cooperation and compromise... we are embarking on an era of enlightened leadership and iron-fisted control over local government.  It just goes to show that the voters can't be fooled by clever substance and sagacious platforms that require thoughtful analysis. Sometimes, we just need to be bullied into our senses, force-fed flashy overkill, told how to vote and, by golly, do what we're told!  

And I want to especially commend our astute, local reporter, Johnny Whitfield, on his exemplary public service, digging into the proposals and ideas of each candidate in this commissioner election, uncovering the contrasts and subtleties of the solutions offered for Wendell's problems and, in a blazing demonstration of journalistic ethics, giving all seven running for office fair and equal exposure in his newspaper.  Johnny, without  your in-depth coverage of the 'meat' of each candidate's position, we could never have made informed decisions and elected such capable, qualified models of impartial, altruistic distinction.  These two, new, inexperienced commissioners will make us all proud to live in Wendell, striving (wishing?) for economic development and building expensive, empty homes!

Not so good at math?  Inconvenient truths:
Well, now, for a ‘non-political’ blog, this bully pulpit is emanating a veritable cacophony from a virtual junkyard dog that makes lots of noise and no sense at all.  The most glaring mistake that jumps out from his blogs is a patently false attempt to paint this commissioner election as being between two groups of 3! - Simple arithmetic:  There are SEVEN (7) candidates, and the ONE candidate with more experience in Wendell Town Government than all of the ‘new group of 3’ candidates, combined, is being conveniently ignored by the aforementioned ‘jd.’  I am questioning the integrity of our barking blogger – he has a transparent M.O. if I’ve ever seen one: The other group, of which I am a member…” – ‘jd’
She is not a member of either ‘gang of 3.’  She’s a fiduciary candidate and our ‘jd’ makes a blatant (mistaken) attempt to disqualify her through elimination.  She’s the only candidate in this election who thoroughly understands the nature of Wendell’s economic woes and knows the best way forward.  She’s been disgusted with the ‘old school gangs of 3’ for years, now, and she’s running for a seat on our Board of Commissioners so she can help to steer Wendell toward true revitalization.  Perhaps that is precisely why our ‘jd’ is so afraid of her!  Competency can frighten the confused.  
Lest the sniping and petty finger-pointing that define the two ‘gangs of 3’ distract voters from the issues, know that the candidate I am spotlighting is above the fray and isn’t party to the ‘old school’ vs. ‘new wave’ controversy.  She has years of experience, is presently co-chair of the planning board and sits on the Unified Development Ordinance Committee.  She is the secretary of the Wendell Historical Society.  I’ll say one thing for her that she could say to the voters and won’t, because she is sticking to the issues and not indulging in name-calling:  ‘Gangs of 3’ have ruled our 5-member Board of Commissioners for years, and now, another ‘gang of 3’ is trying to take control of the Board.  Any time 3 or more of the 5 commissioners vote as a block, they can force our town to accept whatever agenda they push and all hope of fair, democratic cooperation for the good of all our citizens is dashed - only the will of those behind the current ‘gang of 3’ is realized - they CONTROL the BOARD so that only their votes matter!  It is interesting that the ‘new wave gang of 3’ is now challenging the ‘old school gang of 3’ for that position of power.  When you vote, remember that one candidate is working for the entire town and has no axe to grind, no ‘back room’ supporters to please.  She is an independent, evenhanded candidate and is not backed by any special interest.  She’s experienced and she knows what Wendell needs.  And she isn't wasting everyone's time by getting into dogfights.  She’s all business. 
Here they are, inconvenient truths that put the lie to ‘jd’s attempts to marginalize the only candidate who has an unbiased, comprehensive understanding of, and the most effective antidote for, Wendell’s dire pecuniary straights.  She can only afford a few signs, the signs with the hummingbird (the hummingbird is a hard worker!).  There are no hidden, deep pockets financing her campaign.  She has consistently made the following points in her platform and it will be an obvious faux pax if another candidate plagiarizes her unique and succinct positions after the fact:
“Let’s get this straight.  Wendell’s tax rate will not be significantly reduced by the manipulation of residential zoning, shifts in home values or any other changes in the real estate market.  Wendell should have a wide spectrum of housing options and prices that serve home-buyers at all income levels.  The single, effective solution to Wendell’s long-standing, disadvantageous tax rate is no different from any other municipality:  We need to broaden our tax base and shift the burden away from homeowners.  We must jump start a style of economic development that will attract offices, light industrial and extensive new services.  This means we have to provide incentives that will persuade businesses to locate, here.  Wendell’s appeal includes lack of competition for clientele and a pool of potential employees with diverse skills. 
However, the most important carrot we can offer is concrete infrastructure that supports commercial enterprise.  We’ll soon have more than double the number of rooftops we have, now, because Wendell Falls will be a part of Wendell.  We must attract investors who will partner with Wendell to develop a landscaped business park on the perimeter of town, ideally in between Wendell and Wendell Falls.  Taxes generated by this new genre of commerce will help to pay for all of Wendell’s needs, from continuing to revitalize downtown retail to new parks and open spaces, sidewalks and yes, greenways.
This is the most realistic, effective, common sense solution to Wendell’s deadly serious shortcoming, a ‘lack-of-trade’ ball and chain that now threatens to reduce Wendell to a bedroom community with a ghost of a business district, a lá Knightdale’s First Avenue, a fatality that resulted from the big box explosion along the new, “Hwy 64 Strip Mall.”  We don’t want that to happen to Wendell!  Wendell Falls will soon be developing its commercial property and will then pose an even greater threat to Wendell’s ability to attract consumers and tax-generating businesses.  We must expand our economy as soon as we can and the best way to do that is to recruit commercial ‘heavy-lifters’ into a developed, landscaped business park.”
Only one candidate comprehends, and advocates for, this intelligent measure to save Wendell and make us into a little town to be reckoned with, a destination for shoppers and a comfortable, affordable, functional home for all of our residents.  As a citizen of our town, I believe she is the only candidate of the SEVEN candidates who knows her way around the town government and has perceptive, far-sighted understanding of Wendell's fiscal needs.  She is not a member of either ‘gang of 3’ and is the better for it. She knows how to get down to business.  Former Mayor, Tim Hinnant, says it best; Ms. Batson served on the planning board during my term as Mayor.  Her knowledge of issues, preparation for meetings and work ethic are second to none.”  I couldn't agree more.