Monday, January 28, 2008

Living Up to Someone's Image of Yourself

It has been two weeks since the Springdale Chamber dropped the hatchet on Featherfest. The cultural celebration of the city's heritage wasn't making enough money, and the Chamber thought it needed a new and more lucrative image. Imagine. I wonder if we can.

The Morning News
was amused. "What's an image? The city of Springdale, by any other name, will still smell of chicken. ...We've always wondered at the serious talk about 'image' that sometimes echoes around the hallways in chambers of commerce and city halls. Everyone wants an image, it seems, but nobody knows quite how to get one." Even if Springdale's image is a giant sign-blighted strip mall that only Bill Ramsey could love, the editorial says the city "can't manufacture or assume an image and make it meaningful."

Columnist Bob Caudle was somewhat less kind. "
Springdale is a town where the hoot owls date the chickens, hoping to get lucky. That's not an image that needs to be expanded. On the Internet an image like that might be illegal," he wrote yesterday. "If it's image we're concerned with, the city could go Hollywood: They Pluck Chickens, Don't They? How about, A Fistful of Broilers. Face it, Springdale's ugly. It's a coyote-ugly, two-bagger of a city -- and proud of it."

Face it, Springdale needs to change it's future, not just its image. One encouraging sign is that
Josh Jenkins will soon announce as a candidate for the Springdale City Council. As a private citizen, he has demonstrated a concern for the city and a dedication to finding solutions for a better future. On the Council, he would add another unbought voice and reasonable perspective to those offered by Jesse Core and Kathy Jaycox.

The contest for the next Mayor of Springdale is uninspiring, even frightening. The names mentioned thus far -- Ray Dotson, Jim Holt, Mike Overton, Bobby Stout, Jim Reed, and Nancy Jenkins -- are dismal choices. If one of that group gets elected, let's hope that they bring back that proposal to build a huge wall at the southern city limits to protect themselves from the enlightening influence of Fayetteville. And to quarantine their own commercial excesses, xenophobic meanness, environmental ignorance, and general fanaticism.

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