Saturday, December 24, 2011

Editorial: Prescott's popularity has its drawbacks

When I see a comment I should have written myself, I can only say 'bravo' -- and wish the writer had used his/her name. From "True West – True Prescott,"  commenting on today's editorial:  

With only a few days remaining in 2011, we may have a new frontrunner in the “Dumbest Courier Editorial of the Year” competition. The writer of this piece could stand to “appreciate the city’s history” with a bit more, uh, appreciation.
   Settlers of European descent began coming to Prescott over 150 years ago. In every year since, more have arrived, and wouldn’t ya just know it, almost immediately upon arrival nearly every damn one of them set about to “do everything they could to change their new community into the place from which they moved.” Decade after decade, established residents have complained vigorously about newer residents upsetting the delicate balance of all that is good and decent in our community. It is, far and away, the oldest and most ubiquitous lament in Arizona.
   Remove the gauzy, serene veil of nostalgia long enough to examine the true history of Prescott. Mixed in with our many dedicated and upstanding civic leaders over the years were some scalawags, tinhorns and drunkards, along with more than a few numbskulls. Just about every decade included episodes of shouting, name calling and near fist fights during city council meetings. We’ve had more recall drives than you can count. In short, our town has experienced its share of cultural turmoil and political upheaval. But not to worry – it always survived and moved forward. Sometimes it even changed.
   Certainly, the dominant local Democrats of the first half of the last century must have been resentful when the Republican ranks swelled during the second half of the 1900’s, creating the current political landscape. Dad-blasted newcomers.
   Paradoxically, it’s Arizona’s large landowners, developers and business owners who have been the greatest facilitators and beneficiaries of our continuous in-migration, yet on a personal level, they are often the people who complain most loudly about the unwanted influence of newer arrivals. (You can hear them wishing, “If only there was a way to take their money, but make them shut the hell up – at least for the first 20 years or so.”) But, alas, it’s easier to stop a Tsunami.
   For any newcomers who may be reading this, the word “naysayers,” as used above, is the favored way for the folks who currently run Prescott to refer to those who are in any way critical or even questioning of local government. It is often used interchangeably with the word “whiners.” Pay no mind, and disregard this silly editorial. Speak up, share your ideas and don’t be afraid to make your mark, just as true Prescottonians have been doing since the very beginning.