Let Them Eat Cake

I believe the above quote accurately reflects the obliviousness to the nature of our situation here in the Crowsnest Pass by many establishment types living here, who are in some cases fourth or fifth generation.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of these people that did not go very well, as this person from the get-go misconstrued my earlier email to him of that day as an insult, rather than a statement of fact. My email attempted to point out to him the fact that the number one issue of parents in this community with their school board was the recent busing issue. Email campaigns were launched, letters to the editor, protests, etc. people were outraged and at the end of the day he and they were thwarted in their attempts to force their trustees to change their new transportation policy with respect to this issue. On behalf of this group, I even posted a letter of theirs to the school board here, in a show of support.

So with the above in mind it came as a shock to me to find out that on Nomination Day for School Board Trustees two people (one an incumbent) got in by ‘Acclamation’. There will be no election, no field of candidates, no debate or discussion of the issues (or repercussions over the busing issue) affecting education in the community. Complacency and apathy it would appear have reared their ugly head again, and I stated as much to this individual in my email and subsequent telephone conversation with him.

I also pointed out to him my belief that we could probably expect as much from him and his establishment cronies with our upcoming municipal election, which would be truly sad and pathetic but in keeping with their actions of the past. In closing I said,

 

Is it any wonder we have the problems we do here with so much complacency and apathy?

Give your head a shake, boy! Then get out there and make a difference by getting involved by standing up for much needed and long overdue change in this community.

Support and vote for someone who has for years been on the front line fighting on behalf of those who can’t… or won’t!

This person told me in so many words that he found municipal politics ‘boring’ and ‘trivial’ and as such, ‘beneath him’. While at the same time voicing his expectations that all candidates should make the effort to drop by and visit with him personally, to win his vote, while he himself does nothing by way of working for or supporting anyone himself, by volunteering his time and/or making a campaign contribution, either in cash or in kind. Its all about ME, ME, ME with these people. Never about what they can do and contribute for the greater good of the community as a whole.

Knowing this person and his kind as I do, the real sadness and truth of the matter is despite all their rhetoric and grandstanding, at the end of the day they do not even have the will or moral integrity to stand up for their beliefs and convictions. Instead, they make no waves and vote as a block for one of their own… like the sheep they are. And this is why a mayor such as we have had for so long was able to stay in power, and run this community into the ground for most people living here, but not for these privileged few. These privileged few who are secure and well-healed wanting for nothing, whose businesses and lifestyle have been protected from outside forces by their establishment friends, know nothing and care even less about those in our community who struggle every day with unemployment, lack of opportunities, nepotism and cronyism, the high cost of living, inadequate or non existent public transportation, affordable housing, seniors’ housing, those having to live on fixed incomes such as the disabled and seniors, etc., etc. They are oblivious to the wants and needs of those who live under their very noses because they are to self-absorbed in their own little world and with their own class to see all the harm and devastation that has resulted because of their complacency, apathy and/or indifference. “Let Them Eat Cake”.

In summary, the time has come for the great ‘unwashed’ among us to come forward and be the change we want to see in this community. Support those running who reflect your issues and concerns and who will work in your best interest… not just theirs and their establishment friends only.

On October 18, vote JOHN PRINCE For MAYOR

 

Only the shallow know themselves.

from John Prince
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5 Responses to Let Them Eat Cake

  1. Thanks John for posting about this. We have far too much complacency.

    And you think that’s bad enough… Check out this stupidity:

    http://www.sasha-yourvoiceoncouncil.com/blog/2010/09/25/On-School-Busing.aspx?alt_id=VDXH2-BA391-3T6&ts=1285463157734

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr. Prince and Ms. JaegerBaird;

    I feel “herded” into this discussion, and want to present information that I believe you have overlooked. I am one of the parents who was and is still very active in campaigning to change the busing policy. I did seriously consider running for the school board, however decided I am not able to. This has nothing to do with complacency or apathy, but priorities.

    I don’t see on your profile, John, if you have raised a family but when your children are young, they demand an incredible amount of energy and time. It is my priority to raise my kids in an environment that is nurturing, secure, and stimulating. I don’t want to do something unless I have the time and energy to do it properly, and right now that is not the time. Maybe when they are older and more independent I can devote my attention to politics. I believe that the other parents, who are upset with the busing policy, are in the same boat in that their priority is raising and taking care of their young children- as it is the young children most affected by this.

    If my five year old was to ride the bus, he would be getting on it at 7:30 in the morning, and riding with a full bus of 57 children with one adult on the bus. Hopefully this adult is able to devote his complete attention to the road. He would get dropped off at school at 8:10 where one teacher volunteers her time supervising all the dropped off children outside until school starts at 8:40. Once school starts is the only time that there is adequate supervision, and this is the only time that I am comfortable leaving him at the school. Because there are no other options, that means I am using my vacation time, and carpool resources to drive him myself to and from school. Thank goodness the Boys and Girls Club is finally up and running and there is an option for him after school.

    Generalizing and insulting parents who have no other options does not seem the best way to secure their vote. I am an incredibly busy parent, as are all the others I see. Priorities are not running for political office, but volunteering for organizations their children are in like soccer and hockey, and driving their kids too and from these events. These are the obviously undervalued activities that this demographic of parents is focusing on. That is why they are not running for these positions.

    The few hours between work and the kids bedtime are important, and need to be fulfilling. Creating less time with my children is not the answer right now.

    Please don’t judge me or other parents this harshly. I think our children need to be our priority and we don’t need to be condemned for it. It is not lack of efforts expended as the issue is still ongoing for each of us, and we are dealing with it in the way each of us is able to.

    Kari Mertz

  3. John Prince says:

    Dear Kari,
    Thank you for your comment. On behalf of my readers I know we appreciate hearing from you, a parent who has been and is on the front lines with respect to this issue.

    First, let me say, if my primary concern was in winning votes I would not have blogged on this issue. In fact, I would not have a blog period. As you probably know, I do not hide or avoid dealing with the issues, especially those affecting this community and its residents. In fact, I feel quite comfortable with being open and above board with where I stand and with what I believe to be the truth on certain matters, as I see them.

    In this regard, although I believe I understand where you are coming from with respect to your priorities in that your children are paramount in your life and your first and only consideration, for which I commend you and your fellow parents with similar views and positions, I still find it hard to believe that your group could not find from among yourselves (or other suitable individuals) at least two persons whose home and work commitments were not so insurmountable as to prevent them from committing themselves to not only seeking, but hopefully winning seats as your school board trustees. Especially, in lieu of the fact that by allowing one of the incumbents to retain his position by acclamation you have in effect made your job that more difficult, as from what I understand his position on the bussing issue is diametrically opposed to you and your group’s position. In fact, he stood adamantly in opposition to you and in favour of the school board’s decision on this matter. Yagos, I do not know where she stands but I am hopeful she will be working with you and your group to address your grievances, rather than against you, as obviously this is an issue that will not be going away anytime soon.

    In the above regard, I think Sasha JaigerBaird’s blog post on this subject in which she tells the story of two older children being picked up while a third younger one had to traverse through, for all intents and purposes, dangerous terrain only to get to HAS to find his older siblings on their bus waiting to pick others up on their trip to other schools in the Pass, to be mindboggling.

    I personally believe way too much emphasise is given at the school board level to teachers, staff, budgets, etc. with parent considerations and concerns being at the bottom of the barrel, so to speak. That needs to change! After all, it is the parents and the rest of the residents in this community who at the end of the day foot the bill. Therefore, it stands to reason greater weight and consideration should be given to the wishes and concerns of the parents. This in my opinion, is who and what school board trustees should be working towards, and when they are not then it is up to the parents to turf them and get those who will, is what the point I was trying to make. My intention was certainly not to judge harshly parents fighting on behalf of their and other peoples children, but only to criticize that no battle is ever won by giving up, but only by standing up for what you believe in and know to be right.

    Again, thank you for your comment and I wish you and the other parents future success and will be happy to help in any way I can once elected to the Mayor’s chair, as I believe your cause is both noble and just.

  4. Dear Kari. Thank you for replying. I appreciate your input. I am sorry you felt “herded” into the discussion. I can appreciate that you are a very busy parent. I have been there and done that.

    I am not sure if you read what I wrote on my blog, but whether you did or didn’t, I do think that you may have missed what I was writing about. Please check it out

    Personally, I have one child left in the school system. She must now walk to school, so it affects us too.

    What I wrote about was the stupidity of this new busing policy and how it affects our families and children.

    I am totally against the unilateral decision that the school board made to the busing changes. If I had not been running for council, I may have run for school board. But I feel that I still may be able to influence change as a councillor, regarding the busing situation.

    My point was how it affected one young mother in Coleman. And how it made absolutely no sense for her two children to be able to be bused but the third not. You have to read the full blog here: http://www.sasha-yourvoiceoncouncil.com/blog.html

    I was not coming down on parents for not stepping up to the plate. I think that parents (obviosuly I am one of them) are doing what they can (being as vocal as they can), under the circumstances.

    I think that the parents feel a great amount of frustration and helplessnesss over this whole thing.

    However, that being said, there are a great many people in this community, who do have the time and could have stepped up to the plate to run for the position of school trustee.

    A suggestion: What about grandparents of school age children??

    I hope that we can change the situation. We just need to not lose sight of the goal and keep workng at it.

    As an aside, I too, know what it’s like to be busy and set priorities. You may or may not know, I am a mom of four, and I had one step child to raise (for a time). I worked for most of their school lives. I did still found time to be involved with all their various activities. At one time, I was the hockey manager of one son’s team, the team uniform manager of the other son’s team, a fund-raiser coordinator of my younger daugher’s group, a manager and guardian of the older daughter’s other group, and still found time to run them everywhere they had to be. It was not easy, but I did it. I did not have a husband to with these tasks help either. I was totally committed to my children (still am), and found the time. This is not intended as a slight against you. All this just proves is that anything is possible.

    I know that my children all look back now and appreciate the time I did put in for them. I attended every hockey game for both son’s. Every fund-raiser event for my daughter. Every meeting and fun event for my other daughter. I look back on it and wonder how I did it. I was on the go all the time.

    I was also active in my community, campaigning for change in local zoning issues.

    All I’m trying to say is that I’m sure that someone somewhere, here in the Pass, could have found the time to step up and run.

    You are absolutely right, it does have to do with priorities.

    But if busing is that much of an issue, and I know it is, people need to be willing to do what they can to to invoke change. This includes taking advantage of the opportunity to get elected to a school board trustee position.

    It should be good people, such as yourself, who knows the issues and feel strongly about them, that are representing the community of the Crowsnest Pass, and it’s issues. I applaud anyone willing to step up and do so.

    I hope this clarifies my postion.

    Thank you again for writing. I always appreciate hearing everyone’s viewpoint. It is important to know how people feel and where they stand. Keep petitioning for change!! If I am elected, you will definitely have my 100% support!!

    Sincerely,

    Sasha

  5. Joe says:

    John,

    The latter part of your post speaks volumes. Pincher Creek is booming and has attracted all sorts of new businesses. The new Senior Housing complex is a welcome site. Going through the Crowsnest, one sees little activity and a growing number of closed businesses. Then on to Fernie, and again a lot of activity and building. Why the difference?

    Time and again, one sees a similar situation and it boils down to turf protection, croneyism, nepotism and indifference by the local powers that be. This ultimately leads to stagnation. Add to this the common factor in present day politics – power for the sake of power – and you have the Crowsnest.

    As the conditions deteriorate and the taxes go even higher in order to support the local government and far-flung subdivisions, the people that reside in the Crowsnest will be squeezed to the limit. The old timers are hit the most.

    There is a solution – VOTE OUT THE PRESENT ADMINSTRATION, and start anew. It certainly can’t hurt, and if the newbies don’t do the job, vote them out come next election. Continuing in the same manner that the Crowsnest has been governed in for the past few years will only lead to further degradation.

    Joe Grigel

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