Making Converts, One at a Time.
If I had a nickel for every time I said, "If had a nickel...".
I got two more nickels in this weeks' Chestnut Hill Local. Or maybe I got 72 more nickels. Because every time someone attends Nurse Ratched's Thursday Evening Therapy Group, otherwise known as the Chestnut Hill Community Association Board of Directors Meeting for the first time, they realize that my little stories aren't figments of imagination.
The shell-shocked, following their inaugural exposure to the Hill's peculiar brand of Democracy, and a shower, often respond with" I didn't believe it 'til I saw it with my own eyes", when I ask them about their experience.
The latest group to have their eyes pried open, like Alex in A Clockwork Orange Therapy Session, wrote about it in the Local, one in a letter, and one in an Op-Ed piece.
They eloquently and specifically stated their objections to a single aspect of a new Hill business seeking a zoning variance .
Unlike the near neighbors in the Good Food Market case, these neighbors do not hide, or leave their objections open to interpretation by the opposition, although that has already happened.
The neighbors request:
That the business in question agree to keep their hours of operation, in the future, the same as on opening day, specifically 6 til 9 Mon-Wed-Fri and 6 til 6 Tue-Thurs-Sat
That's it-Nothing else.
The business wants the option to extend evening hours til 9 on Tues, Thurs, and Sat, in the future.
CHCA board members have characterized those who sought this compromise- this promise to keep present operating hours, future operating hours; as enemies of business, and of the sick, and of the indigent, as racist, and they voted to oppose any such compromise.
The African-Americans on the board did not accuse the near neighbors of racism.
There are no African-Americans on the board.
The business owners want their options open. Here's where it gets murky, as dealing with businesses often gets.
The hours of operation upon opening must be enough to satisfy their bottom line, or why wouldn't they push for those longer hour to start?
Yet they say the denial of the longer-hour option in the future would be a deal breaker.
My conclusion is this:
They always wanted the longer hours. They want them now. But they thought that opposition would be too strong if they tried for them at present.
So they thought it would be easier, and sound more reasonable to ask for the option, if in the future it became necessary.
Putting it in a little at a time has always been a successful application of will, I've used it myself.
It's a compromise with yourself, one you can always change, and always improve upon.
And it works with those easily convinced of your good intentions , like undergrads of yore in my case, or the CHCA board in the present circumstance.
Those who are still waiting for Snowden to rent something, anything, after he bought the board, will believe anything anyone with a bulge in his pocket tells them.
Later, when the bulge turns out to be something anatomical rather then monetary, they swallow bravely and move on, on their knees- to the next bulge, hoping for a different outcome.
CHCA president Walter Sullivan swallowed. He said the business would have to come back to the board if they wanted to increase the hours.
Can anyone guess how that meeting will go? Any different outcome than this last one?
Will I show up at the Zoning Meeting?- Will I bring friends? Will the CHCA board get beat again, just like the whuppin' they took over the Good Food Market?
Will the only people who accept their authority be those on the board itself, and the business owners it now serves?
Fined, punished by the State, ignored by the eighty percent of the neighborhood who refuse to join, ridiculed and reviled by more and more-who all owe me a nickel apiece.
Keep your money-I'm having too much fun.
Ed (I've got friends downtown too) Feldman
Morning Feed- Gtownradio.com-Mon-Fri 9-10AM Eastern