There might be people who, like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, will never be happy no matter what we do. The city debates have been that sort of influence on many of our lives. We want to enjoy our own families and communities, but these issues keep nagging at us, even now as the holidays approach. That certainally says something about the forces behind them, doesn't it?
But, this year, it's going to be different.
We have a lot happening in Tucker to be very excited about and I, for one, am not going to allow the politicians and their games to ruin the holidays. One reason that I am optimistic is that I can visually see the improvements taking place along Lawrenceville Highway that must be due to the new voluntary CID. You can read about it here.
Decision is always preferable to indecision
Another reason I know that the holidays will be happier this year is because I have already made up my mind on the city issue. The only real power I have personally is to contact my legislators, which I have done already, and show up to vote, which I will do when and if that time comes. The rest is really out of my hands and I know that.
Good people make good neighbors
I am also reassured that I am not alone. There are a lot of people who have had many of the same doubts and questions as what we have discussed here and in our Facebook group. I am reassured that we live in an outstanding area at an outstanding time. For that, I am grateful.
Come On! Everyone is NOT doing it!
But, what I want to share with you is something I learned when I was in sales a few years back as I think it relates to what we are seeing here with these city advocates and their many, many meetings they continue to count off to us and boast about. It's part of that "everybody's doing it" mentality that we try to warn our children about.
Public meetings that serve no purpose other than to convince you of a plan already in place are a show of disrespect, in my opinion. We all have busy lives. We all have families who deserve our time, or jobs that might be difficult to get time away from. We have to pay babysitters or expect kids to rush through their homework just so we can get out to a public meeting where we believe our input is being sought. It isn't.
It wasn't really wanted at the first meeting, nor will it be desired at the next one. So, we really have no reason to show up again and again to hear the same summary of the same issues and leave with the same questions that were never fully answered to any degree of satisfaction. In the case of any upcoming meetings, absence will speak louder than our presence, unfortunately. If they know that they have not swayed the voters, and they are not given more chances to do so, then there is a good chance the vote will be postponed so they can work on the sales pitch and try again next year.
- How many times do you let the vacuum salesman into your home to dump the pile of ashes on the floor and sweep them up before you tell him that you are not interested?
- How many times do you listen to the pitch on the phone for lower monthly payments on your car insurance before you politely say, "I'm not interested" and hang up?
- How many times do you hear the used car salesman tell you that he has to have an answer by the end of the day before you finally tell him "No?"
What you should know about Salespeople
In sales, there is a system by which the sales person will continue to call you even when you have told them no, because they want to establish a relationship with you, even if it is just over the phone. Research has taught them that it is much harder to say no to someone you think you know than it is to a stranger.
So, even after turning them down multiple times, the odds actually improve that you will eventually say yes. If they continue to call you, even after you have said no, they will eventually sell you something, as long as you keep taking their calls. When we are probably thinking, "When will this guy take a hint?" The salesman is still thinking, "He's going to buy from me today. I just know it!" Salespeople are very bad at taking hints. They have to hear the word "no" come out of your mouth and even then they might not believe it.
If you truly have made up your mind and you know you do not want what they are selling (cities, in this case), then you can do yourself, and the salesperson, a big favor by simply refusing to take the call. If you no longer listen to the sales pitch, they will eventually give up and move on to someone else.
Sorry, I didn't give at the office, either
Giving money for anything is a sign of trust. Even if you give just a small amount, it still means that you are a big sale they just haven't fully collected on. You may have donated for a "study," but they still read that as you donated because you want a city. And, that's all they need to convince the legislators to place their issue on a ballot. If they show that we are all "interested" then they can make a case for why we should be allowed to "vote." I don't know what the law might be on the issue of the Tucker 2014 group and the fact that they collected funds for a city of Tucker, but submitted a map that does not look anything like Tucker. You may be able to ask for a refund. I don't know that you will get it, but it can't hurt to ask, especially if you do not want them to place you in that pile of "certain yes" votes just yet.
We cannot do much right now other than call or write our legislators (statewide). There are some good contact lists on this page. It is not complete statewide, but more contacts are being added to it daily. Since it has been stated that every member of the House and Senate in the state will be voting, it includes more than just the local delegation. Perhaps these outside areas are the ones we actually need to convince if we do not want any of the cities to go through.
Know When to Vote
But, we can promise ourselves that we will keep in touch with the issues enough so that we can show up to vote when the time comes. That could be as early as May or pushed to July, but you can never tell for sure what might happen, so it is important to remain informed.
Unless something new happens, I do not intend to hold any meetings with our Save Tucker! group over the holidays, but we will stay in touch online. You can join us by liking our page, www.facebook.com/SaveTuckerFromLakesideCity. We are not a political group trying to force anyone to vote in a particular way. We welcome all opinions on the subject of saving our community, but will ban anyone who is abusive or hostile in their comments.
What are we fighting for?
When a fight becomes the only part of this process that you can remember, and it destroys the very thing you were fighting to save, it might be time to slow down and reassess the situation. Sure, it is nice to win. But, it is never worth winning anything if it must come at someone else's expense, especially when it is your own community being torn apart.
We were doing fine before and we'll be fine tomorrow. Changes will continue to take place as our children will continue to grow up. But, the positive influence we can have on them will only happen if we are happy with ourselves and where we live.
I wish everyone here a happy and safe holiday with your friends and family. I won't be inviting the Scrooge and the Grinch into my home this year. I hope you don't either.