So, the part II of the resistance theme yesterday:
We have tried all along to be proactive in working with the City officials. We scheduled and had an “open hive,” opening our property to the general public allowing people to come and see an urban top-bar bee hive in action. I have been quoted in many articles as saying if a person has questions or issues, to contact me. I am in the telephone book, I provide my email, and I am more than reachable at my home. If I cannot answer your questions, chances are I can direct you to someone who can.
In preparation for the “Beesentation” next week, I contacted the local newspaper and online news outlet; in addition, I have contacted the City Planner, the City Administrator and the City Council members directly via telephone to inform them of the date, time and location. This has provided an excellent opportunity for continued conversations with each of them, one-on-one. As I write this, I am awaiting a call back from only one of the 10 individuals.
As I have stated to each of them, it was great that in preparation for last week’s meeting that they attempted to do research via the Internet to gain knowledge about beekeeping. But there are problems with the Internet: it can be a “garbage in, garbage out” resource (think Wikipedia), you can get 500 different answers to the same question, and… think of the difference in results based on the wording of the search phrase entered (“honeybees” versus “bees”, “swarm” versus “hive”)– your results are skewed to how you phrase your search. The comments made by Council members indicated that I needed to provide another method of extending the community-wide conversation, a way to have concerns addressed in an informative manner. I took it as my responsibility to provide everyone (City employees, the Council members, and the general public) with numerous opportunities to obtain responsible, educated information. The “Beesentation” will be the latest example of such opportunity and forum for discussion.
The response from 8 of the 9 that I heard from was extremely positive. They were thankful for the opportunity and sounded as though, barring any conflicts, they will attempt to come for at least a portion of it. The calls that I made/received regarding this were encouraging; as I felt it was my due diligence to provide the education, most felt that it was then their responsibility to make themselves available to receive the information… all except one (isn’t that the way that it always works?)… and of COURSE it’s the one who was most vocal about the anti-beekeeping “information” he “found on the Internet.”
I could get into the specifics of the “conversation” (or complete lack thereof), but it really doesn’t serve any purpose. I just need to accept that as some people find it their duty to obtain as much crucial information prior to voting, some see it as their right to gather only the information that reinforces the position that they have already determined. As a former Council President, Trustee and Board member, I chose the former in preparation for voting. This Alderman is one who could possibly choose to make his mind up, gather any and all supporting info, repeat repeat repeat until it is heard enough times that it sticks out in others’ minds, and consider the conversation over. Period.
What can I say? What can I do? You can fill the trough, gather the horses and bring them there… but it is their decision if they drink.
I just hope the constituents are watching who is thoughtfully engaged and drinking, and who is cantering away from the trough with their ears plugged.