Here's a copy of an email that went, apparently, to either the Abingdon Tea Party organizers or to one of its sympathizers by one Cathy Lowe who, it's my understanding, is on the town council (apologies to Ms. Lowe if I got that wrong), explaining the reason for the town to have rejected the application that was submitted - or wasn't submitted - for the event.
Now I'll warn you, I have only a Masters Degree. It's going to take someone far more versed in the English language than I to explain all this.
But here goes. The email (grammar and syntax as they were in the original):
First and foremost, unless Council is contacted PRIOR to a request to Town Management or in conjunction with contacting town management we (the council) have no idea about the requests or their answers until someone is upset. You should put all requests in writing and copy the council when submitting the request if you want us to have a hand in the decision making process. Per the code of Virginia management makes decisions about daily operations unless council is asked to oversee the process.I have two responses (well, three, but I'll save the third till the end).
Second, One of the emails we received says and I quote” you suck and you can go to hell” , doesn’t sound very peaceful to someone who has no idea at that point what the author was referring to.
Third, we have been informed that someone from your group has been contacted by the Town Manager via phone and told the reasons he said no to the mustering grounds this year and that there are other properties available for use. You are correct you have many rights afforded to you under the constitution and I know my fellow council persons well enough to know we believe in your rights. Not using the Mustering Grounds had nothing to do with denying your right to peaceful assembly it had to do with protecting the property because of it’s current condition. I am told that you were offered Veteran’s Park as well as other locations with in the town. Please let us know if that is incorrect.
Fourth, the mayor is Ed Morgan not Lois Humphreys, the vice mayor is French Moore.
In conclusion, I understand how upsetting this situation was for your group and I am sorry for your aggravation. I hope the Town Manager eased your suspicions and the conclusion was a satisfactory one. If not The Town Council Meetings are the first Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers located in the Municipal Building on Main Street beside of the Barter Theatre. As I said none of us knew about your dilemma and would have been very willing to help solve this problem in a professional manner at a Council meeting. To my knowledge no one has ever been denied an opportunity to speak to council during a meeting and there is an agenda item called matters not on the agenda for just that purpose . It is very difficult to respond professionally to an angry person given recent violent behaviors that are happening through out our country when we are unsure of who we are speaking with via internet and telephone.
I hope I have answered your questions and concerns.
(1) There is a great deal of confusion here. Whoever is in charge of putting this protest together needs to seize the initiative and cut through all this fog, or there'll be no protest.
(2) I learned long ago that the best way to kill something like this is to act on Ms. Lowe's suggestion that "the request be put in writing." What decade did the organizers want to pull this off? Again, if you want to get the party off the ground, seize the initiative. If you want to bureaucrat this thing to death, follow Ms. Lowe's instructions.
(2a) I like the suggestion made by someone (admittedly outside Washington County) regarding the obtaining of necessary permission(s). There's this little thingie called "We The People." You own the street. Exercise your right to ownership thereof. Grab a sign. Picket. Make your voices heard. Let the town council pass its resolutions afterward.
Finally, there's (3). Along with everything else that has turned out to be bewilderingly confusing about this whole mess comes this: The title of the email that went to (from?) from Ms. Lowe has this:
The What peaceful Tea Party protest?
Unless the get-together in Abingdon has been named in my honor, my weblog has been sucked into this affair because I posted comments (twice) on "From On High" information about the protest (or non-protest), even though I have nothing to do with it.
In another part of the email back-and-forth there's a reference to a "From On High organization ." (!!) I got news for you, fellas, I could hold a convention on a toilet seat and no one in the "organization" will feel encumbered.
I - "From On High" - am an organization of one.
Tangentially, if I were one of those "angry persons" that this Lowe woman is fearful of, I wouldn't be chuckling right now at how I got sucked into this. Innocent me. Bemused me.
A special note to the Tea Party organizers, whoever you are: Maybe you do need me. Though I hadn't planned on participating, I may be of value in getting this thing going (despite the short time yet available). I've dealt in the past with much bigger projects than this and know how to get the attention of those who need their attention gotten and I know who's just going to jack us around. I also know how to meet deadlines. My email is off to the left of this post. Use it or lose it.
A special note to Ms. Lowe: You strike me as being a kind person interested in getting the job done you were elected to do. My hat is off to you. But don't be too negative about all those angry voices out there. We have lots of reasons to be angry these days. Read "From On High" lately? Read the news lately? Have you seen what Obama's doing to this once-great nation of ours? Have you contemplated what he's doing to your grandchildren's future? Can you really blame these people if they don't "follow procedure" as outlined in your town's Rules of Proper Conduct When Trying To Organize a Mass Gathering For The First Time? I think you owe it to yourself - and your grandchildren - to be taking the reins and organizing this event yourself. It's that important.
A special note to my readers: Yes, I've occasionally written "You suck and you can go to hell," but my wife addresses it more often to me than I do to others. So there. To dispel the possibility that new misinformation might arise, I herewith deny any involvement in that email that went to Ms. Lowe.
Anyway, the saga continues. And it appears that the Abingdon Tea Party is no closer to reality than it was a week ago. Alas. April 15 fast approaches ...