Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Library Held Hostage Using Filtering System as Ransom

In "A Right Perspective: Cash Faces School, Community Accountability," by Marilyn Loeffel, Memphis Commercial Appeal, June 17, 2008, are the following two paragraphs (emphasis mine):

I spent eight years on the County Commission and served as chairwoman of the Education and Libraries Committee during several of those years. I also served on numerous ad hoc committees dealing with schools funding, accountability, needs assessment, capital improvement projects, consolidation of the systems, further division of the systems and on and on. Very little meaningful or significant change was ever accomplished. That is, until Commissioner Tommy Hart leaned over to me during one of my first budget cycles and asked if I would be willing to withhold $4 million from the library system until they installed an Internet filter system to prohibit access to pornography.

I looked at him in astonishment and said, "Absolutely, if we can do it." At which time I was privileged to learn the one most important lesson of politics. Hart pulled back his head, looked down into my novice eyes and said, "My dear, we can do anything with seven votes." He wanted to know if I had the guts to do it. I did. We held the library hostage using the filtering system as ransom. In the end, they got their money and we got a better library.

I ask Marilyn Loeffel and Tommy Hart to please detail and publish exactly what was the problem and exactly how it got resolved. Then let me know where it is published, else I'll publish it myself if they would like.

You see, Marilyn Loeffel and Tommy Hart are public servants who take the public trust seriously. They "have the guts" to stand against the special interests that may sexualize the children or otherwise expose the community to harm. I know a number of community leaders who could use a spine, and something these two write from experience battling the same special interests could go a long way toward helping such community leaders grow a spine. I would love to link to or publish that.

Let's see if I can encourage them to encourage others.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments of a personal nature, trolling, and linkspam may be removed.