Choosing Sides

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Written by Jeanie Barnett for the Summer 2010 edition of Neighborhood Connections.  Used by permission.

Who did you vote for?  What local newspaper do you read?  What does your tee shirt say?  What are you for?  Who are you against?  What is your agenda?  Whose side are you on?

Louisiana in general and Central in particular are filled with avid sports fans.  Don’t you know someone whose wardrobe consists of nothing but purple and gold clothing and accessories?  Have you ever been in the bleachers at a BREC park during a cut-throat tee ball game?  Don’t you know someone who has actually scheduled a wedding or funeral service around an LSU game?

Spectator and participatory sports can be great fun and wholesome entertainment.  What’s more American Pie than “rootin’ for the home team?”

Establishing the foundation for a new city is not a game, however, no matter how much people love to pick sides and compete.  This is not a sporting event; this is real life.  Facts can be manipulated to create a deception and people can be manipulated to score a point.

When information is brought to you, first ask yourself, “What is the source?”  Then ask yourself, “Is this fact or is it opinion?”  One often masquerades as the other.  If the information doesn’t ring true with you, check it out.  Go to the source and get the facts.  So many people are embarrassed to find out they have passed along untruths and partial truths simply because they didn’t verify the information.  And finally, ask yourself, “Does someone stand to gain by misleading me?”

Of course there are folks who are completely self serving, looking after their own interests.  And to be sure there are folks who just love a good fight.  The fact is that the vast majority of Central citizens are good people who truly want what is best for the whole community to maintain our quality of life and grow in directions that are truly positive and beneficial.  That includes people who espouse both “sides” and neither side.  We are all on the side of Central and our combined well being and the best interests of our children and their future.

No matter your age or political party affiliation, whether you are a new resident or have lived in Central all of your life, regardless of religious beliefs or the color of your collar, whether your toilet paper rolls under or over, you probably truly want Central to be the best city possible, today and into the future.

This is not a contest; it’s a joint effort.  Refuse to fight and we all win.


  1. Lee Rome

    August 25, 2010 at 8:42 am

    WELL SAID!!! Jeannie I am behind you and your comments 100%. Lee Rome

  2. Lee Rome

    August 25, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Jeabie, I don’t know if my previous comment went thru so I am repeating – “WELL SAID” Its time that we all go back to the orriginal principles that moved Central to becomming a City that we can all be proud of. Its time for all of this bickering to stop. Lee Rome

  3. Tim Lazaroe

    August 25, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Excellent article Jeanie and appropriate comments by Ms. Lee.

    I chuckled at your Tee-Ball analogy: That one really hit home!

  4. HadEnuff

    August 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Well written and well said!

  5. Mike Mannino

    August 25, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    The bickering will stop when the current administration starts listening to the 49% of the people that didnt vote for them. The mayor has taken steps, such as addressing the CH2 issue. As long as this continues to move in a direction that represents all, peace will come.

  6. Nathan

    August 26, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Good Point but unlikely to happen

  7. Kyle

    August 26, 2010 at 8:41 am

    What about the 51% that did vote for them? Doesn’t majority rule? Have you ever seen anywhere in this country where a candidate or an issue gets 100% of the vote? Also, I thought the election result was 53% to 47%.

  8. mike mannino

    August 26, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Talk to Obama about thinking a small margin is an edict to run over the loosers. This country, state and yes this city is fairly evenly divided. A good politian will find common ground that addresses everyones concerns. I dare say that opinion has changed in Central and you would see a different result in an election today.Opinions change based on how a polititian performs as our illustrous one term President is finding out. To absolutely run over 49, 40, 30% of the voters to appease your base is political suicide. The right answer is to work with everyone to come to a middle ground in most cases. BTW, 150 votes in the other direction would have changed the outcome. Percent in a small city like this doesnt tell the whole story.

  9. Kyle

    August 26, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Mike: I guess I have to agree with you on the Obama issue. My issue here in Central is what people read in the paper, particulary Central City News. Too much of that is biased opinions by the editor attempting to sway people to his point of view by not giving out all information and only printing what he wants to print. That can make anyone look bad.

    Central Speaks paper prints the FACTS after research in an attempt to get CORRECT information out to the public. A newspaper should be based on facts, not rantings and ravings and biased opinions.

    I’m through with this topic. Thanks.

  10. Kyle

    August 26, 2010 at 11:58 am

    By the way, well said Jeanie. You hit the nail on the head with your article!

  11. Donna Dufour

    August 26, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Kyle, Just the facts CS reports under Election 2010 it was 52% to 48% Some would say that is too close for comfort,it really doesn’t matter you either won or you didn’t. Mac won, however I think it wise for him to remember that almost half the ones that voted did not vote for him and try to turn that around. He has taken two steps forward to do achieve that. But the steps taken backwards in the beginning of his new term were serious to the 48%. If my memory serves me right he won by about the same amount 4 yrs ago and that candidate didn’t have the name recognition Jr. had. So there has been some dissatisfaction with him by almost half of the voters for a long time. If I’m wrong on the election before this last one I’m sure someone will let me know

  12. Mike Mannino

    August 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    It was more like 60-40 last time I believe but the candidate was very poor and ran a terrible campaign. I remember the debates being painful to watch because he was so bad. And still he got 40%. That should tell you something.

  13. Donna Dufour

    August 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Correction to the above:

    Former Central Middle School principal Shelton ‘Mac’ Watts became the temporary mayor. Formal elections were held on April 1, 2006, in which voters chose incumbent Watts with 86% of the 18,000 votes. So my information was wrong on that election. Definitely had the support and confidence of the voters then.

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