Let’s Review, Shall We?
I get a call last week, from Erik Soujanen. He tells me there is a conflict brewing with the city over some enforcement shenanigans, and some permitting worries. I promise to pay some attention. Sunday, Erik joins me for a twenty minute phone interview, which I shape into my podcast for Monday.
Almost immediately, all hell breaks loose. There is a HUGE meeting of interested parties, hosted by the Bayou Business Association. There are representatives there from the County, the City of New Port Richey, even a state legislator. Pasco County tourism and economic development folks, as well.
The room is boiling. MANY are angry at the actions, and LACK of action, taken by the Mayor and City Council.
Later that night, I get shown an email from Mayor Dale Massad that makes some pretty hefty claims, and some accusations. It also mentions MY PODCAST, which makes me feel really special, thankyouverymuch.
The Mayor Speaks to So Local Pasco
Yep. He did. We arranged a phone interview, and he kept his word. He confirmed that he DID send an official email, from his city email, to Port Richey Residents. He doubled down on some of the things he said in the email. He did not really try to back up from the email. He answered all of my questions…It was a pretty friendly interview.
But ever since it aired, a parade of folks have called and written to tell me he got things wrong, and lied about others. I think some were angry that I didn’t scream “AHA!” at him, and take him in to custody.
But guess what? That is NOT my function. I have no authority to compel the mayor to give me the answers that I, or YOU, want.
“Well, That’s Just He Said She Said”
No, it isn’t. I asked the mayor questions. He answered them. He RE-STATED some questionable things that he said in the email. THAT is what I did. I am not going to climb in the city hall windows with a flashlight looking for proof of anything…Heck, I halfway think if I ASKED, they would give me whatever documents were handy.
But on Friday of last week, about ten people thought the mayor was lying about some things, and wrong about others. This week, today, THOUSANDS know what I know. That is what I did. That is all I CAN do.
What you, gentle listener, do with that information…Well that is up to you. Heck, I don’t even LIVE in Port Richey. The ball is in your court, now.
Now, Here’s Greg With Some Suggestions
Today’s podcast represents MY opinion, and here’s another disappointing newsflash:
You may not agree with me…And I might be wrong. That’s okay. This is a self correcting problem: If what I say turns you off, or you don’t believe me, stop listening. It’s okay. If I get it wrong, the show will die. However, if I get it wrong, and then LET YOU KNOW when I did, that changes everything, doesn’t it?
So that’s all I ask: Have a high standard for proof, and a low standard for giving people room to make mistakes AND recover from them.
I want to thank everyone who spent time this week trying to get me up to speed, and to give me a better understanding of the issues facing Port Richey.
I only have one picture to post, today. It’s a picture I took in May, at the Poker Paddle Event at Gill Dawg. It was a charity fundraiser put on by Tammy Carr and Jaana Jala for Raffle Rescue of Hudson. Dale Massad’s house was one of the distribution points for prizes and swag, on Miller’s Bayou.
After the paddle event, HUNDREDS of folks descended on the “Event Center” at Gill Dawg. There were vendors. There was amplified music. There was drinking, and fun, and games. And there was the Mayor. Not only was he there, he spoke, onstage.
He did NOT have a problem with the event center…He spoke about how great it was that there was a place like Gill Dawg. He was the Mayor then. He’s the Mayor now.
Why is this suddenly a problem in July?
~Have a great weekend…See you on the water, if you’re out there!