Monday, March 19, 2007

What hath Cole wrought?

The day my best friend died, an "Anonymous" commenter took exception to a claim made in an earlier post of mine: "Cole-alition hopes to Spring forward" that Mayor Brad Cole "gets results."
What are these 'results'? Please be specific. I've asked Peter Gregory about this repeatedly and he either cannot, or will not, respond with specific acts on Brad Cole's part that have led to tangible positive results for Carbondale. I know what Brad Cole says he has accomplished - I want to know what you (or anyone) can cite as direct actions of Cole's that he has accomplished.
So I created a list drawn from Cole's most recent "State of the City" speech: Some things Mayor Brad Cole has accomplished so far and posted it, adding the comment "No one can say that Brad is not a hard worker. There's also a summary of his first 100 days in office on his web site."

So Anonymous replies:
It's his only job. Of course he should get more done when he has no other job. But the question is 'what is he getting done' and 'for whom?'
I asked for your opinion of direct contributions he has made, and you cite keeping City Hall open for an extra hour. That is the best you can come up with?

I've read his site, and so many of the things he claims credit for, are the continued natural functions of city government that occur regardless of who is mayor - resurfacing roads, maintaining sewer lines, etc.
The extended city hall hours was cited merely as one of the first things Cole did -- make City Hall work a little bit more efficiently.

And who is Anonymous? And why the animosity?
Why so stingy with credit for Brad? In addition to the so-called "natural functions," Cole has done much more.
One of the more important ones, imo, isn't even listed -- as reported in the Daily Illini -- making possession of small quantities of marijuana punishable by the equivalent of a traffic fine. I think it's saved the county courts some time, and put a few dollars in the city coffers. And what also isn't listed are the number of things he tried to do but failed, like bringing a hotel to help preserve the downtown Varsity Theater facade (forget about a theater ever being there again. We'll all be lucky if the marquee can stay in tact).

Now I agree those who think that Brad could have made some different choices. For instance, after the big City Council meeting when so many people spoke up on the subject of medical insurance, including soon-to-be Green Party candidate for Governor of this state, Rich Whitney, and other knowledgable people. I myself disagreed with the arbitrary cap placed by Cole on the formula for people who are not employed outside the home, such as housewives. I suggested to him that he appoint a "Blue Ribbon" panel of some of the people at the CC meeting (as he did with the Eurma Hayes Child Care Center deal), but perhaps because he knew his Home Rule "Cole Remedy" would not fly. But many other communities followed suit, and who knows? Perhaps it had something to do with the eventual solution.

Anonymous continues
'welcomed' new businesses along Reed Station Road. What does that mean? So many of his 'accomplishments' are vacuous and empty 'political speak' that it is not useful to go from his list.
(The words "Vacuous" and "empty" are synonymous, Anonymous. Can you find nothing at all "useful" in the list? Is every single one of his accomplishments to be dismissed? I don't think so.)

Because my information
was culled from a speech Cole delivered to the Chamber, it is not surprising that the list does not include the things he tried to do, but failed. Nor does it take into to account what went on behind the scenes before Cole "welcomed" the new hotel to Reed Station Road, and all the other things that seem to Anonymous to be "natural functions." There wouldn't be enough time in the speech. (Anonymous seems to think Cole just sat back and everything got done).

Three things that I can personally testify to, where Cole took the initiative: One is Bike 2 Work Day. Another is the statuary at Friendship Plaza. A third is the medical malpractice ordinance. In all three, I personally saw how Brad Cole operates. And they probably would never have been done, if they were left to a committee. Oh maybe eventually, after a year or two or three (look at the history of "Stars on Main"). But as I said, Cole gets things done.

But wait, there's more from Anonymous. You see, I deleted his comment, so my answer wouldn't be buried beneath several others, and I could give it more attention -- after attending a funeral for my best friend -- and dealing with the grief. Then I get another one:
So you posted my comment regarding what you think Cole has accomplished and then you delete it?

Now, why would you do such a thing, unless of course it pointed out the weaknesses in your posts.

If you are going to host a blog, maybe you should think about having the intellectual honesty to post the comments that take you to task.
Anonymous can be such a twit! He just found out another possible the reason why! But he takes a negative opinion of my intentions, just as he does for Cole. (For the record, I am not "hosting" a blog, but occasionally post messages to this one and some other blogs. And I could turn the comments off, and it wouldn't matter to me. It would be less work. I allow them, though, because sometimes the comments add information to the discussion.)

Now here's a challenge to the Simonites, or hostile commenters like "Anonymous."

If you aren't satisfied with all the things Brad Cole has done so far, what should have he done instead? Let's hear some practical suggestions.

What is the best thing Sheila Simon did while a member of City Council. What is anything she did?

Let's hear it!


PeterG said...


I'm constantly getting comments from this same Anonymous dude, he doesn't seem to understand anything by himself. It was nice of you to go patiently through and try to explain things again. Maybe he is one of those special admission SIU freshmen? Not quite up to par with the IQ and reading skills? Has trouble putting diverse ideas together?

He is better then that Mad Math guy who has been commenting on my blog of late, "Mad" knows something, but always comes to the wrong conclusions. Kind of remarkable how given enough information, some people still get things wrong.

Good thing you are nice enough to slowly explain things again. I wonder if Anonymous would understand things better in person?

See you around the pond.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Dave. I loved Paul and Jeannie Simon, but it takes a lot of courage to criticize Sheila in southern Illinois. A bit of a sacred cow. Good for you for trying to find the truth in all this political hype.

Anonymous said...

Here is my question, Dave. If the Mayor has so many accomplishments, why is he still on campus lying about Simon? Because the Facebook page no longer is chock-full of obscenities and mock-pictures of Simon, we know he's paying attention. But just last night he visited a fraternity on campus and said that Simon was going to raise the bar entry age and create party-free zones.

If he's as successful as you guys think -- and there may be something to that -- then why make up stuff about your opponent?

Anonymous said...

I sent you a post in the other thread that you haven't posted in which I concede that Sheila does not have a substantial list of 'accomplishments' as a member of the City Council.

Your request for such a list is a red herring. The City Council form of government here in Carbondale does not lend itself to individual accomplishments among its members. It is a deliberative decision-making body. Decisions and accomplishments are not made individually, but collectively.

In addition, unlike Cole, Sheila Simon has both a family and a full-time job aside from her responsibilities on the City Council, so to expect her to have a list of individual accomplishments comparable to the Mayor's is unreasonable as well.

And finally, can you please remind me what list of accomplishments Brad Cole cited when he ran for Mayor in 2003? What was the long list of work that he had done that qualified him for the position then?

Parentheticus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Parentheticus said...

Yo Anonymous.... You really ought to do your homework. Cole's 2003 platform gives many of his accomplishments, including rehabilitating the old Woodlawn Cemetery; eliminating the city's portion of the property tax; and recouping money lost due to Census error-- and more -- all things he did while in his first term AS A CITY COUNCILMAN....

Now, what Sheila has done? I don't need a lengthy list. Just one thing. Perhpas the thing she most proud of doing? (Voting against something perhaps?)

Gadfly... I'm looking into it. What fraternity did this allegedly occur?

PeterG said...

How about Brad initiating city financial support for the Summer Concert Series while on the Council? That is better then anything Sheila has suggested isn't it?

I love the comment that says essentially Sheila doesn't do as much as Brad, because she doesn't work has hard. We have a choice between 10 hours a week and a history of being too busy for accomplishments and 40+ hours a week and lots of accomplishments? Sounds like a tough choice to make as a citizen. Good grief.

I like the idea of mining Brad's 2003 plan, to compare to Sheila's lack of accomplishments. Very smart, wish I had thought of it.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of the fraternity Brad Cole was at yesterday and asked about the bar age issue and he would not comment other than to say he did not know Simon's intentions and the only guarantee he could make was no changes to the bar entry age and "party free zones" would be altered if he was in office.

Anonymous said...

Brad is being coy; he knows her position on the matter. Indeed, the issue hasn't even come up at a single candidate forum (including the one for the students). Its simply not an issue, unless you believe Brad cronies who are trying to make it one.

Interesting question -- when his signs were defaced, she contacted him to let him know she wasn't involved and that she'd make sure her supporters knew not to do such things. Has he contacted her about not only the lie that she's going to change the bar entry age, but the personal slanders that were previously on the page?

PeterG said...

Gadfly's comment here seems pretty bogus, or at least tilted and spun.

I don't think we know anyone's position when they switch back and forth on them. Clearly, when Sheila wasn't running for mayor she thought one thing, when she needs the votes, she thinks another. What happens after she is elected is anyone guess. You can't be talking about her convictions, just what is convenient. There sure are lots of legal and enforcement problems that would go away if the entry age was 21.

Reading the second part of this reminds me of how Obama deals with this sort of thing. Big fund raiser slams Clinton, Obama didn't say it and will not apologize. Hilary in Apple's 1984 ad, Obama didn't do it and will not apologize. It seems that only if you are really involved should you apologize.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we know anyone's position when they switch back and forth on them.

Heh, can anyone say smoking-ban? Brad has already trotted out three distinct opinions on the issue, flip floping not once, but twice.

Clearly, when Sheila wasn't running for mayor she thought one thing, when she needs the votes, she thinks another. What happens after she is elected is anyone guess. You can't be talking about her convictions, just what is convenient. There sure are lots of legal and enforcement problems that would go away if the entry age was 21.

The exact question of her was "what should the bar entry age be" as opposed to "should we change the bar entry age." If this issue were so important to her, then one thinks she would've at least uttered the words "bar entry" at some point over the last four years. Or, failing that, at one of the dozens of meetings she's had with the so-called "townies" where the issue would be popular and get some run.

Its not even hard to point out the silliness of your (il)logic Peter.

Parentheticus said...

Gadfly, you sound less like a 'gadfly' and more like a Sheila partisan with every post! (A gadfly is a critic who skewers both sides -- all over the place -- not just one).

Maybe you should call yourself "Simonite_451" or something more reflective of your anti-Cole bias.


Anonymous said...

If people were pointing out things that Simon had done or is doing that were not accurate, I'd happily point it out. But you're a Brad partisan, Dave, and the posts on this blog reflect your topics. As such, it shouldn't suprise you that this is what I comment on.