Take Back Enterprise – Informational Meeting
A couple of weeks ago I attended an informational meeting for a new group in town. I have written about Take Back Enterprise before but at this meeting I learned more details about their vision, purpose and goals and the progress they have made so far working toward their official media launch later this summer. This post is an attempt to share some of the highlights of that meeting and how YOU can participate and help. There was far too much information shared for me to try to cover it all here.
However, Turner, Michael, Reid or Mark will be happy to come speak to your group and share their purpose, vision and goals if you have one that is interested. Just get in touch with them and ask them and work out the details.
Not an Official Spokesman – Am an Official Supporter
In case there is any confusion regarding my affiliation with Take Back Enterprise let me clear that up here. I am not an official spokesman for Take Back Enterprise. I am an official supporter of Take Back Enterprise and the goal of Open Government in Enterprise. I wrote about open government in my last post What Works 100% of the Time.
I do have a blog where I often write about local issues. As this is a local issue I will likely write about it from time to time in the future. I will share what I know when I do so. However, the board members are the final arbiters and source of information regarding Take Back Enterprise.
I was able to get a copy of what their logo and bumper stickers will look like and am proud to display them here. Here is the bumper sticker.
I hope you see a lot of these around town later this summer and on into 2016. If you share the goal of creating an open government in Enterprise you will have the opportunity to display your own. You can expect to see and hear more about and from them very soon via their web site, social media, window decals, bumper stickers, billboards and print media.
I love this picture they chose, and I borrowed, that shows the Boll Weevil Monument and Main Street Enterprise. Anyone who knows me or has read many of my blog posts knows I love most all things Disney and Main Street USA at Walt Disney World is one of my favorite places to just hang out and watch people.
This picture reminds me of that in a lot of ways. I grew up in Enterprise and Main Street Enterprise will always hold a special place in my heart and memories. I remember riding my bicycle downtown, jumping the curbs, going to the Toy Store, Dime Store, Western Auto and many others. Main Street Enterprise is nostalgic for me in the same way Main Street in Marceline, Missouri was for Walt Disney.
Consequently the intent of anything I write here, say or do regarding Enterprise is only to make Enterprise better. I believe that goal is also at the heart of Take Back Enterprise and most of the citizens of Enterprise as well.
Pardon my nostalgic digression…now, on to the highlights!
At the State of the City presentation earlier this year, when recognizing the city council members, the mayor said they don’t always agree on every issue. I remember that statement because it seemed odd to me. That is not the perception I have after attending many city council meetings over the past couple of years. I have never seen a No vote on any issue. When the voting records of the city council were shared at this meeting I was very interested in those numbers.
During the period of 2006-2014, there have been 237 council meetings with 12,189 Yes votes and 3 No votes.
One can reasonably perceive from these numbers they do almost always agree on almost every issue. We can be told they don’t agree on every issue but the voting records do not support that statement. Obviously there is a disconnect here that more transparency could minimize or eliminate. I suspect if you asked your councilman he would tell you they do disagree in private as well. That could be true but it is not the perception I get.
Gathering Public Information
Turner shared the hurdles he had to jump and cost Take Back Enterprise incurred in obtaining the information obtained so far, which is supposed to be public information. In contrast to this experience, he shared examples of other cities of similar size and how they freely share information online to illustrate how easy this could be. They have done their research. It should not be this difficult or expensive to gather public information which does belong to the public.
Charts, Graphs, Tables (Not included here)
Some of the other data shared were in charts, graphs and tables and would be hard to describe adequately here. I do not want to misrepresent any of this information but did want to make you aware it is already available. I encourage you to contact any of the board members for details if you are interested. The data for these tables and charts came from the city audits for the past several years acquired as mentioned above.
Historical population and sales tax revenue growth, and how those trends seem to follow each other were included. Based on these historical numbers future growth projections were shown. They also showed the cumulative needs of the city along with cumulative actuals and the resulting cumulative difference for the past 5-6 years and projected out to 2020.
What do YOU want to see?
YOU have seen highlights here of some of the information they already have and can share now. Take Back Enterprise wants to hear from YOU regarding the type of information YOU want to see on their web site when it is launched later this summer. They cannot be advocates for government to be more collaborative and open without practicing the same themselves. If they are not in tune with what people want to see both the web site and group will be of little value. The only way they will know what YOU want to see is for YOU to tell them. I hope YOU can sense a theme here.
YOU can do that in several ways. Talk to them when YOU see them around town. Send them YOUR comments, suggestions and contributions to them at
Take Back Enterprise
P.O. Box 310372
Enterprise, AL 36331
Or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are a couple more examples of logos you will begin seeing soon. I think they are very well done.
Here is the Take Back Enterprise Mission and Vision.
I end this update with a few quotes from Clint Eastwood I think relate well to this discussion. He was talking about his decision to speak out politically.
He spoke of how Jon Voight asked why no one in Hollywood ever spoke up.
“And I thought, you know, he’s right. We are kinda chicken,” said Eastwood.
“We’re sitting here going, ‘we’ll let somebody else do it.’”
And he came to this conclusion…
“If it makes the right people angry, then good. Maybe it will wake them up!” ~ Clint Eastwood
Don’t sit back and expect “somebody else to do it” regarding pushing for open government in your city of Enterprise. Don’t be “kinda chicken.” Do YOUR part. Get involved. Remember, YOU can support this group anonymously if YOU don’t feel comfortable doing so publicly.
Enterprise is doing well but can do better. Whether that happens or not depends, in large part, on YOU and what YOU choose to do over the next 12-14 months.
Wake Up Enterprise!
Until next time…
Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 6/07/2015