A Lesson From David Haynes to Politicians Everywhere!

Those of you who live in Wetumpka may remember when the Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce came up with the idea of Riverfest a few years ago. In the original plans for Riverfest was a proposal to have an area where beer would be sold. Without going into all the details, several people were opposed to this idea. Because no alcohol is allowed in Gold Star Park where the event would be held, the Wetumpka City Council had to approve a resolution giving special permission for this. My pastor and I, along with several others, attended the city council meeting to voice our opposition to this proposal.

After comments from several area residents both in favor of and in opposition to the resolution, and after some discussion by the members of the city council, the time came to vote. Just before the vote is when one city councilman articulated what I think every person who has ever been or hopes to be elected to any public office from the local level to the federal level and everywhere in between should hear.

David Haynes, who at the time was the City Councilman for the district in which I live, after hearing from citizens of Wetumpka and those who lived outside the city said the following, and I am paraphrasing here: “Well, we’ve heard from several people tonight. Some who are in favor of selling alcohol and some who are not. From what I hear, it sounds like most of the people who live in the city, or at least the PJ(police jurisdiction), don’t want to have alcohol at the event. They are the people that I was elected to represent and so I’m voting no on the resolution.” What a concept! The vote that night was 3-3 and the resolution failed for lack of a majority.

If you know David Haynes, you know that David doesn’t have a problem with anyone having a beer or two upon occasion. In fact, he will have one or two upon occasion himself. What David understood that night was that even though he personally would probably have liked to have had a place where he and others could buy a beer, the majority of the people he represented were opposed to that and as such, he voted no!

Here is the lesson to be learned for those who are public servants in the political realm. You were elected to serve and represent the people of your district or state or county or zone or ward or whatever it is called for your particular office. You were not elected so that you could impose upon the rest of us commoners what you and a few elite others might think is best for us. There may be an occasion in which your personal morals and values might keep you from voting in a particular way on a particular issue. I understand this. Perhaps an abstention would be in order under those circumstances. But when you thumb your nose at your constituents because you have been “enlightened” and now know better than we do about what is best for us or when you care more about advancing your own personal agenda than you do about what we think…well, then it is time for you to go home.

Whether it’s health care reform or raising taxes or any other issue that is up for debate, your job is to determine the will of the people you represent and and do just that…represent them.

I wonder what it would take to get David to run for Congress.

9 thoughts on “A Lesson From David Haynes to Politicians Everywhere!

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  1. This "resolution" outcome is exactly why wetumpka will never be successful. You have no restauraunts, clubs, bolwing alley, etc. You need to quit worrying about someone having a beer, and be more concerned about quality of life….

  2. I wondered how long it would take for someone much smarter than me to tell me how dumb it was for others and me to exercise our right to share our thoughts with our city councilman. This isn't about alcohol or no alcohol. Thanks for your enlightenment, though.

  3. I am not saying I am smarter than you, please point out where I said this…I am not calling you dumb either, I have read your blog for sometime, and thought you allowed opposing points of view, my bad for not conforming…This is not about alcohol actually, it is about individual rights. This it is about not allowing businesses to operate as they want, and not allowing people to live as the want. I realize many people have many widely varying opinions, and "morals", yet this is a free country, and what I have seen here in Wetumpka is not one of freedom, but of oppression.

  4. I believe you have spoken, and are continuing to speak your mind. It won't be deleted. The point of this entry was not to argue alcohol/no alcohol or individual rights. It was simply to point out that regardless of what you or anyone else believes, David did what the people asked him to do even though he probably personally felt differently. Just FYI, you do realize there is a casino in town that many don't want. But it's here and they serve alcohol. They are also only a couple of hundred yards from my front door. That sounds like oppression being visited upon me, not the other way around. Let's not miss the point of the entry, though. Thank you for reading and keep reading! If you have something you'd like to post as an entry, just email it to me and I'd be glad to put it up!

  5. Oh, and it wasn't a business per se, it was the Chamber of Commerce of which I was a member at the time. I also have a right to live as I want as an individual.

  6. Interesting. First, I get what David did, he represented just as he was asked to do from the people who thought enough of him to put him in that position. Course, David always has had a level head about him. I think it was most certainly Dad and Mom that put that in him. He is one of the few that have been involved in running our City in the last 20 years that is level headed and uses common sense to make decisions and not votes. So the posting by Matt is correct, spot on, and should send a message to all politicians everywhere. As for the other points that have come up, well, I’m sort of like David, sort of like Thad, and sort of like Adam. I think that people should be able to live as they want, do as they please and enjoy life the way that they see fit. Right up until the point that their enjoyment infringes on or endangers mine. I don’t have a huge problem with people consuming alcohol; however I do put caveats on it. One, they have to be able to afford it and not use my public funds (Welfare) to purchase it. If your going to drink, at least leave my money out of it. Two, they have to not mix up their drinking with me either on the road or in a public manner that puts me and mine in danger or involves me in any way. Above that, I think they should spend their money as they wish and do what they want with their body. Unfortunately I have been on the side of the road too many times in the early hours of the morning, extrication equipment in hand, cutting some sap out of a car that they just wrecked because they were drunk. In another example, I and other firemen spent a few hours recently washing beer and puke off of the Court House steps after an event where alcohol was allowed. At that moment, those people were mixing their drinking up with my life, and I didn’t appreciate it.Some people cant handle it, while others could attend a public event and do just fine with one or two. It’s the ones that are unable to handle it that have to be ‘helped’ by not allowing it, so I think that the opinion of Councilman Haynes and others that night was a good one. There will always be knot heads in a crowd, less alcohol seems to lead to less of them.

  7. I hate Drive-by commentary. There it is. Saying "is exactly why wetumpka will never be successful". Not that I'm picking on Adam at all, because I happen to think that his reasoning (I hope) comes from a place I understand, I'm just not sure I'd have put it quite like that.Look….the City of Wetumpka shouldn't be in the booze sellin' business. Any more than the State of Alabama should be (but lets discuss the ABC board at another time….). It makes absolutely no sense (unless the City merely sees dollar signs….) to act as bartenders to the public, and then attempt to maintain order when a it goes awry.What I do want, however, is for my city to allow me to drink legally and responsibly at my own discretion. If Riverfest wants to be a venue for purtians only, so be it…but I can guarantee you as sure as the sun is going to shine that I won't be there. If they allowed coolers with some well posted, common sense restrictions, I will. (No glass, no exposed labels, everything in cups, self control, no littering…etc….). Not because I want to go to Riverfest and act foolish, but because I don't want support unnecessary, and stifling restriction. There are places to go that will be glad to have me there. If this isn't Riverfest, I won't make it difficult for it to proceed without me.

  8. Jim, the comment I made about Wetumpka not being successful was not intended as drive by shot, I was pointing to the fact that many businesses will not even consider coming here due to the small-town politics and alcohol restrictions (for restaurants). It makes me sick that I have to drive 20-30 minutes to go to any restaurant of quality simply because of "moral" restrictions in Wetumpka and elmore county. It makes me even sicker that all of that tax revenue that the people of wetumpka sends to montgomery goes to support the deadbeats in in that city.Thad, I aagree that the casino on your doorstep sucks, I don't view it as a business, it is more like an industrial site they might as well be strip mining there… But, just as you did, they own their land there and should be able to do as they please….I just wish that if they were gonna go through with all the junk associated with a casino, they would have an ACTUAL casino not some "bingo" place. But that is not Wetumpka's fault, that is the state's fault. Maybe once Milton Mccgreggor's boy gets out of office this may change.I just read today about how Wetumpka, along with other communities, are struggling with their budgets. They need to start allowing businesses to operate however they please and tax them accordingly for this opportunity.Steve, i too have had to tend to people because of their drunken behavior. This will happen no matter what the city chooses to do with Alcohol. If alcohol is anywhere around, people will use it, regardless of if restaurants in the county are able to serve draft beer… It is not the community's strict liquor laws that moderate alcohol related incidents. In fact I would love for Wetumpka to have the extra tax revenue that looser restrictions would generate… They would be able to hire more police to patrol the streets to monitor for crime and dangerous driving. Right now because of the minimal tax revenue they bring in I don't believe they have more than 3 or 4 officers on at any one time…

  9. I love Wetumpka and the people in it. I have no problem with anyone having a drink as long as they’re responsible about it. Unfortunately there will always be irresponsible people…
    When it comes to selling alcohol at ‘family’ events, I am totally against it. Wetumpka’s Riverfest is meant to be for the entire family to enjoy. It’s that simple.
    Adam, you have the right to live your life the way you see fit as long as it doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others.
    THIS is why Wetumpka succeeds as a much better place to raise a family.

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