Wednesday, March 30, 2016
When I arrived, I asked to be directed to the area where the Senator would be holding the event. The person at the Information desk asked if I had been invited. I answered, "No, the newspaper did not specify it was closed." She answered curtly, "It's by invitation only."
I asked to see the Deputy Director of the organization. When the Deputy Director came, she greeted me warmly by saying, "Hi, Neighbor." I asked, "Is it OK if I I attend?" She said, "Of course!" and she accompanied me to the conference room. (I wasn't a bit embarrassed to play that "neighbor card" and I smiled smugly at the woman at the Information desk.)
Among the panelists with the Deputy Director were: a County Commissioner, the Washington C.H. City Manager, the Fayette County Sheriff and his Chief Deputy, the Director of Community Action, the Hospital Director of Business Development, the Director of The Chamber Of Commerce, two men from the Pickaway County Area Recovery Services, the Washington High School Superintendent, and the Marketing Director from a local nursing facility.
Before the meeting began, as the Senator was greeting people in the audience, one of the City Council members was in attendance with her daughter. The daughter told the Senator that she was a "recovering heroin addict and an alcoholic". The Senator told them that they should sit at the table with the other panelists which they promptly did and the Senator's Aide quickly produced place cards to which they applied their names.
I learned a great deal from the panelists and was glad I was able to attend. All of the panelists--and especially the two men from Pickaway Area Recovery Services--supplied much pertinent information, but the discussion was dominated by the two NON-PANELISTS: the City Council member and her "recovering heroin-addicted, alcoholic" daughter.
Frankly, I was embarrassed by their grandstanding, show-boating display. I felt that the other panelists received short shrift because of the monopolization of the Council member and her daughter. I would much rather have heard more from the panelists about what they are DOING to combat the "epidemic" rather than by the self-aggrandizement of the "recovering heroin-addicted alcoholic"!
As I was "nosing" at the notes on the Aide's notebook, I could tell which people with whom he had been impressed. I leaned over, pointed at a couple of names, and said, "Too bad they are Republicans!" I then pointed out the few Democrats in the room. Of course it was NOT a political event but I was fairly amused to see the schmoozing and photo ops with the Senator for whom they probably did NOT vote!