Harrell has no ideas, just criticism

I am pleased Bruce Harrell remembers my campaign slogan, and I welcome him to try to run against me in a couple years. But for now he is, of course, beginning his run for mayor. That's a good thing because it will be enjoyable to watch him present his ideas for how he would do things differently in an open community forum subject to questioning.

That might not last long so you'll want to pay attention: Simply put, Bruce Harrell has no workable ideas and the only things he can count that he's done over the years are to critique other's ideas. He's the consummate Monday morning quarterback.

You know, I can't find anything to criticize Mr. Harrell for because he doesn't do anything — except post comments on the Daily Tidings articles. No community service, no committees, nothing. So since he doesn't do anything, or provide any kind of meaningful leadership, there just isn't anyway to critique him.

Let's get Mr. Harrell's facts straight — it seems a lawyer would at least be able to do that. I played a hand in putting the exclusion zone aside for a year to see if people could come up with something else. That didn't happen, and by the way, I heard not one idea put forward by Mr. Harrell. Sorry, I forgot that he doesn't create ideas, he only criticizes them.

Here it is folks: Mr. Harrell wants to be mayor — why? Because he wants to be mayor. So I guess when we need to turn to the Monday morning quarterback to win the game, Mr. Harrell will be perfect. Until then, does anyone wonder why the Monday morning quarterback never really gets put in the game? He's all talk, no game. Should Mr. Harrell wish to come out from behind his hiding place and step into the public light to have a debate on these issues, I will meet him anywhere, anytime. Until then why doesn't he actually try doing something? He seems to need to be told that talking is not doing.

The exclusion zone is being asked for by citizens in this community who are concerned about the impact some of these persistent abusive issues can have on the economics and livability of this city. The "exclusion zone" is really an "inclusion zone." The purpose is to make people feel comfortable and safe in our downtown. All people. That includes those who respectfully panhandle, play their music and enjoy the downtown without being abusive to others.

Over the past year I have talked to literally hundreds of people who work with the homeless population. People who actually do something, not just talk.

Every one of them has an "exclusion zone" in place, in practice if not in name. They have behavioral rules for everyone they serve. We simply want the same rules to apply downtown.

We, as a council, would be remiss in our duties if we did not address the situation. What we are trying to accomplish here is the right balance between the freedom to enjoy downtown and responsible behavior. It is not right for a small number to put at risk those who do have every right to be in the downtown.

I am interested in those who seem to want to support the abusive ways of a small number of people we intend to uninvite to the downtown, and turn their backs on the people who are working hard to make a living down there. I guess Mr. Harrell doesn't want to represent the hard-working people of this town. Just remember that when "Mr. All Talk, Do Nothing" runs for election.

Dennis Slattery is a member of the Ashland City Council.

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