Friday, October 24, 2008

King of the Hill...a Commentary

You know it is amazing the things that have been said about yours truely. Now I have people commenting and signing for me. I have been called all manner of names by a small bunch of very petty and small minded people. An this is just over a neighborhood association election.

I read the accusations that keep attacking me as the source of the negativity; I think that most people are more than capable of seeing through this all this BS. I have not screamed at board members or members of the association like Jeff Harmon. I have not trash talked about a neighborhood business like Shawn Hicks did. I have not acted in any way to tarnish the integrity of this election process. But I sure have questioned some actions. (Yeah, there “I” go with those “I” statements but at least own what I say)

I have served on 5 different boards (including OSHNA’s) over the past 20 years. I have never seen the maliciousness or the hatefulness that has been exhibited by all these anonymous cowards. What have I actually done? I have expected the board to act with integrity regarding the by-laws. They have not both in regard to a sitting board member and in holding an absentee ballot vote on the by-law revisions. It is not personal against that person, it is about the rules, and I would take the same position if it were a close friend. We have rules for a reason. I am deeply trouble by people who want to be in leadership positions on our association board who have so little respect for the rules, past precedence, the reputation, or the integrity of that neighborhood association.

There are many in this neighborhood who will tell you I have supported and included people who did not agree with me on one issue or another over my years in this community. They will also tell you that even when we have disagreed, we have remained friends because we did not make those issues personal. I have personally invested hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars in this community. It was never about building myself a little clique or taking an ego trip.

OSHNA has had at least two prior contentious elections. Never has it reached the point where the integrity of the very election process was called into question. Though people were running against each other because they disagreed about issues or priorities, the candidates had enough respect for the process, each other, and the association that they wanted to lead that they were not willing to climb over the bodies and characters of their opponents to be declared king of the hill. The conduct of people in this election has been appalling and disgusting. The truth be told, if I am ashamed of anything I have done, it is that I have at times allowed myself to wallow in the same muck. It has certainly strained some long time friendships which I regret.

In the end, if it is about being “king of the hill” we all need to go back an examine what it means to be a neighborhood association.

Rick Fifer