Tom Henry

Newsroom Editor


Where there is no vision, people die

Saturday, December 30, 2017

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18

I love Blytheville and I love its people. I have a real burden for those in our community and my writings come from my heart’s desire to help cause changes in our community that will make life better for us all.

I have come a long way since I first started writing these columns. I used to at least consider popular opinion when I picked my topics. I have long since abandoned that foolishness.

I now write about what the community needs to know, regardless of whose toes it steps on. I admit that I haven’t always been perfect in how I have worded things, but I have learned that our town is so divided that if I wrote a warm and fuzzy column about puppies, then cat lovers would probably call me the antichrist.

If I enlarged the scope of my column to include all animals, then I’d probably be mocked and ridiculed by people for caring too much about animals and not enough about plants.

That used to bother me, but it no longer does. It’s just the price of having a voice and haters will hate, so here goes:

I have been “behind the scenes” watching our city leaders for years now and as a result I have really gotten to know them, their tendencies, their habits, their character flaws (we all have them), their inefficiency, their ineptitude, their laziness (at least some of them) and their warped thinking.

I am now entirely convinced it is time to fire nearly all of our elected city officials for lack of leadership. We need a new mayor and we need at least four new council members.

It really makes my blood boil at the terrible job that they have been doing, if and when they finally decide to show up for work, and it truly breaks my heart to see what the city is becoming as a result. Crime in Blytheville is one of the highest in the nation and when I first learned of the city’s eighth murder this year, I wondered what tragic things caused this to happen?

What must we do as a city to keep from having number nine? Why does it not shock us anymore? Why have the brutality, drugs, robberies and murders become accepted as merely part of Blytheville’s landscape? What we permit, grows!

I shake my head when I realize that, for at least for some in our city, a very real hopelessness that lawful success, prosperity and opportunity can never be theirs causes them to justify going down the wrong road (despite the high price).

Too many honestly believe that the game of life is so stacked against them, that they can’t even afford to play. They trade their future for a quick buck and for notorious street cred. It doesn’t have to be that way – “where there is no vision the people perish.”

I grow livid when I see so-called community leaders profit and gain from keeping us divided. I am ready to fight when I see how many people cover up or condone crimes by our government officials as something that must be permitted. [Crimes range from FOIA violations, to campaign violations to crimes large enough to require FBI/ASP investigations]

Frankly, our POLITICIANS are complete and utter failures and need to be fired. It’s never been about them, their pay, their insurance, their perks or their retirement.

We don’t need politicians; we need genuine city LEADERS with common sense. Leaders that care about everyone in Blytheville from the richest ‘big wig’ to the poorest ‘welfare mom.’

True leaders cast a vision, develop a common sense plan, build and empower a team, build consensus, equip others to succeed and then turn the spotlight not on themselves but onto the successes and other team members that made them happen.

Real leaders condemn what needs condemned, make decisions based upon common sense and not self interest, get out of the way of the private sector, encourage local (especially non-governmental) initiatives that strengthen the community and lift up the entire local economy.

Above all, real leaders show up for work (even committee meetings)! They fix what is broken and don’t break what works, they take care of what needs taken care of (even in a non-election year), demand accountability, condemn what needs condemned (race baiting, racism, crime, and the good ol’ boy system), and is thrifty with taxpayer money/property…and most importantly realize that it is NEVER about them. It is about the entire city and all that live here.

It is time for massive change in Blytheville government, but any new elected officials must not merely be new puppets controlled by the same puppet masters. Also, they must stay true to their goodness and never allow themselves to be molded into the image of those we already have now.

Leaders arise and join me in changing Blytheville for the betterment of all. Who’s with me?