As many of you know, my colleague here at Locally Grown, Ross Currier, is also the Executive Director of the non-profit Northfield Downtown Development Corporation. Apparently, some individuals and organizations in town are having a hard time understanding the difference between Ross speaking his opinion as a private citizen on Locally Grown, and Ross speaking as Executive Director of the NDDC on the NDDC website/blog.
“Uh, gee, well, Ross Currier said something on the internet. I didn’t like it. Maybe we shouldn’t fund the NDDC.” With all due respect (which admittedly isn’t much): HOW DUMB AND SHORTSIGHTED ARE THESE PEOPLE?!
During my six-year term on the EDA, I was always favorably impressed with the reports of what the NDDC was able to accomplish with very limited means, and I know that Ross’s commitment, connections, know-how, and shoe leather (“human capital”) had a lot to do with the NDDC’s success in meeting and exceeding their goals. If the NDDC doesn’t get at least the same funding this year as last, when their list of accomplishments keeps growing, we’ll know that the main difference is that this year, Ross voiced some opinions of his own while not wearing the NDDC hat. I’d hate to see a valuable organization like the NDDC punished because an employee of a non-profit entity had the temerity to have a life. I don’t care how small this town can be, Ross should be able to freely express his opinions without having to worry about direct fiscal or professional repercussions.
Is anyone but me incensed by this?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again now: Locally Grown is just three citizens with a blog. It doesn’t have any legal status; it only exists as a domain name on the internet and the title of an audio show. We’re three individuals, with individual opinions, doing this for free in our spare time. We created this venue because we wanted to have a virtual place to discuss issues of local importance; I think we’ve accomplished that. We’d like it to be a vehicle that both informs and entertains; I think we’ve accomplished that too. We want to have fun; unfortunately we’re not doing nearly enough of that, because we’re finding that as soon as you stick your neck out, someone runs at you with a scimitar.