Surviving in a Male Dominated Household

Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Public Speaking--Know What Is Appropriate

Usually here on Wednesday it is "Wordless Wednesday". A day when I post a picture that speaks for itself.

*As always, these blog posts are my own viewpoints and in no way are reflective of or endorsed by "Friends of Maplenol Barn" or Save the Barn Committee.*

Today I'm bucking the trend and going outside of the box (insert additional corporate buzz phrase here if you like). As always, this is my personal blog and my comments here are not at all related or endorsed by the Save the Barn Committee or "Friends of Maplenol Barn". All of the comments below are all my own.

At last night's City Council meeting we were discussing the fate of the barn. Yes, I've actually become pretty involved in all things barn. I'm meeting new and great people. I've been lucky enough to be able to network with local media and I'm enjoying the concept of helping keep a piece of history in West Des Moines. We've raised over $200K, have over 2000 supporters on our facebook page in 45 days and in less than 24 hours, distributed 200 yard signs in West Des Moines. With worldwide support (I'm not kidding, we've had 3 different countries sign our online petition) and monetary support coming from all over the US, this is more than just a local issue.

We have some great ideas to make this a in the black revenue wise project. Following the model of the Simpson Barn that is located in Johnston, Iowa and doing a lot of research as a group, this is something that is possible. Only if the school board will allow us to do it. We know of 6 additional grants we can apply for as well. Again, no money out of the pockets of the school district and this does not hinder the education of students at Valley in any way.

I understand some members of the community are not as informed as I am. I've been eating, sleeping, breathing barn for the last few weeks. If they want to be informed, they only need to seek information. The web address is printed on our yard signs that, again, are all over West Des Moines. Some people don't understand what "greenspace" and "water detention/retention" is. To be honest, until this all started and I got involved, I couldn't tell you what it was either. I was reminded of a quote of Abe Lincoln's that my dad always said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

At the City Council meeting last night, a fool removed all doubt, for me at least. Stew Hansen, yes THAT Stew Hansen, prominent auto dealer in the Des Moines area attended the meeting. I would think that he would be well aware enough to monitor his comments in such a public forum. After all, negative publicity is bad for business. That's just simple public relations. He is entitled to his opinion, just like any other resident; but there's a way to be professional about it.

Mr. Hansen told another WDM resident at the meeting to "You've got a big mouth and you need to shut it" and he continued to say that the "City was holding the School Board prisoner" with their resolution that was on the table. A resident shouted, "They're holding the barn prisoner" to which Mr. Hansen replied, "Do you want to know my personal feelings about the barn? TO HELL WITH THE BARN." And he yelled it.

I was nursing Brendan at the time and it was probably a good thing I was. It gave me pause. Had I not been nursing Brendan I probably would have let my emotions get the best of me and shouted back. But, having a nursing baby (who was startled awake by Mr. Hansen's uproar) at the breast, I didn't. Oh, the smoke could be seen coming out of my ears, I'm sure. But I held back.

I know our van probably won't make it forever and we'll probably be in the market for a new (or new to us) vehicle in the next few years. I know I will NOT shop at ANY of Mr. Hansen's dealerships. Someone who has such a disregard for proper etiquette at a public forum, a disregard for others at the meeting (the "big mouth" comment) and a disregard for history, well, he can forget about my business.

Just because he's rich doesn't mean he can say whatever he wants and treat others horribly. And that's just what he did. One would think that he would know better than to lose his cool at such a public forum. Rich or not, my vote counts just as much as his does. That's the joy of living in a Democracy.

Mr. Hansen, With all due respect, I believe the woman with a child at her breast may actually have more of a vested interest in future generations. Not that you don't, but I thank you. I thank you for making our future vehicle buying options easier.


GrumpyGratefulMom said...

People can be amazing sometimes. I'm so impressed with your determination for this cause. I think I need a barn to save. I'm glad I found your blog. I'm in Utah now, but grew up in the metropolis of Tipton, Iowa. Have a great day! Janae

Sarah Bowman said...

Thank you. As I like to say, I'm not anti-progress, I'm pro-history. Just because the barn is old, doesn't mean it needs to be destroyed. We Iowans need to embrace our history and heritage before it's gone.

Thanks for reading...they'll be more coming. Feel free to follow me! :)