Republican response to Mayor Bill Bell’s
“State of the City” address.
February 15, 2011
Last Monday, February 7th, Mayor Bill Bell gave his 9th annual State of the City address. Since the President of the United States always has a response from the opposing party, I felt it only fitting that Mayor Bell’s speech have a response from the Republican Party.
As a result, I met with the Durham Herald Sun last Monday afternoon, only a few short hours before Bell’s speech, and brainstormed the concept of a Republican Response. They loved the idea and agreed to print my response.
Please follow this link to the Herald-Sun’s website to read the response. And please feel free to forward the link to anyone you know … especially if they are a Durham Republican. As I’ve stated before, it’s high time that the Republican Party in Durham have a voice. This is where we start.
I hope to report the final date and time of the Durham County Convention soon. Once we know the final details, I hope you’ll come out and vote for me.
And here is the text of Ted’s response:
What about Durham’s jobs?
On Feb. 7, Mayor Bill Bell gave his 9th State of the City address. The mayor spoke of the achievements of 2010 and his vision for 2011.
Bell spoke of the economic difficulties that we face and about trying to attract employers. However, I did not hear the mayor propose any changes to make starting a business any easier, less expensive or less cumbersome.
The recent arrest of a Durham hot dog vendor is a perfect example. Steve Pruner had recently lost his job as a result of the economic downturn. He has a 26-year-old, mentally handicapped daughter. He also has a 48-year-old brother on dialysis. Both depend on Steve for support, so Steve decided to run a hot-dog cart downtown. He tried to follow the inane rules and regulations but eventually gave up and tried to do it his way.
Obviously, we cannot allow people to disregard the rules that govern our society. However, in an economic climate as difficult as the one we are in, perhaps we should review some of these rules and regulations to make it easier for people to provide for themselves.
Bell also mentioned that Durham continues to be blessed with lower unemployment than both the state and national averages. While this is indeed true, there are huge disparities in the unemployment figures that tell an unfortunate reality that needs to be addressed.
As of December 2010, the unemployment rate for Durham was 7.1 percent. However, the unemployment rate for the black community stood at 15.2 percent. The unemployment rate for black men 20 years and older stood at 16.4 percent. However, far more shocking is the unemployment rate for the young black community (both sexes, ages 16 to 19). It stood at a whopping 40.7 percent. In January, that number went up to 46.9 percent.
While our community has been making strides in reducing the dropout rate, we still allow too many kids to leave school. Hopefully, Superintendent Eric Becoats’ new strategic plan for the Durham Public School System will address this issue. In the meantime, we need job opportunities for the kids who drop out.
Unfortunately, our city council recently approved the acceptance of the Mexican matricula consular card as a valid form of identification. Some say this does not mean much. However, the passage of this resolution sent a signal to the illegal immigrant population that says, “We know you are here in this country illegally, but that doesn’t bother us in Durham. You’re welcome here.”
So what’s the connection?
Empirical evidence tells us that illegal immigrants are often employed in the trade industries. The trade industries often require very little to no formal training to enter, but allow a lucrative opportunity. So by sending the signal to the illegal immigrant population, we are saying that we don’t need those jobs for anybody else in our community. Sadly, that is not the case.
Opinions of SilenceDogood2010
If you read the Fact Check article, according to Beverly Thompson (Public Affairs Director for the City of Durham) on the unemployment data —-
“Again, I misinterpreted some information in early January when I first started gathering information on this section, and never did go back to change it”
One would think that with unemployment being one of the ‘HOT TOPICS’ of this local community, attention to details would be of the utmost priority. I guess one would be incorrect in that assumption.
Maybe the ‘Public Affairs Director’ would be a good place to CUT from the Durham City budget.
Respectfully submitted by SilenceDogood2010 this Fifteenth Day of February in the Year of our Lord, Two Thousand Eleven.