Friday, December 9, 2011

Lori Davis: Christmas Parties and Hypocrisy from a "Preservationist"

Friday, Dec. 9, 2011
By Lori Davis, Chief Harrisburg correspondent for

"A good time was had by all!!" 

Anyone who grew up in small  town America, especially in the South, remembers these trite words we would always read in the gossip column of the local newspaper when something big happened in town.  Well something big took place in Harrisburg on December 8th as Harrisburg supporters celebrated the Association's Annual Christmas Party. This year, BOD members decided to have an event that would be opened to the public to include the neighborhood's biggest supporters. 
Some of the attendees of last night's Harrisburg Christmas Party
The support we received was overwhelming. At last count, we speculated 150 attendees from all walks of life. The invitation to this event was released on Facebook and the rest is history. Butch Palmer, a member of the Harrisburg BOD, offered his Crawford Avenue Salon 606 as party headquarters and Bill Karp provided superb musical entertainment for the crowd. 
Butch Palmer (center) co-hosted the Christmas Party at Salon 606
I believe someone mentioned that there were three ladies from Westlake in attendance. Incredible! Maybe we are moving up in the world.  Maybe people realize that there are real people, smart people, who are trying to save the neighborhood from destruction. 

What an exhilarating feeling to see so many people care about us! A true outpouring.  The thing that made this evening so special is that it came on the heels of all of the uproar over political redistricting that would possibly move part of District 7 in to District 1 where Harrisburg is situated.

The week prior to the Harrisburg Christmas Party was filled with disgust spewed by one Augusta citizen in particular concerning possible political redistricting. Through a Letter to the Editor in The Augusta Chronicle and also through an interview with the Metro Spirit. Mark Lorah, the Former Historic Preservation Committee Chairman voiced his opposition. 

In his dispute he says that District 1 has a population density not seen in District 7. The reason for this density can be attributed to men like Mr. Lorah who try to take a single family dwelling and rent multiple rooms out of it to multiple tenants. This is a widespread practice in Harrisburg which we are trying to put a stop to. 

Rather than join the Harrisburg movement, Mr. Lorah chooses to complain about conditions in which he tried to contribute to for monetary gain. He also states that people in his District care more about fiscal responsibility than those of us in District 1 and that a District 1 Commissioner could not effectively represent those in District 7. Really? I wonder if Mr. Lorah knows that his neighborhood is included for membership in the West Augusta Alliance of which Harrisburg is a member?

I wonder if he knows that I have been nominated as the new President of this rather large and influential association? Would he decline to attend because this president that could possibly represent him is from Harrisburg? For the record, thus far the redistricting plan has been voted down even though two Commissioners who served on the Ad-Hoc Committee voted for the changes while in committee. I guess Mr. Lorah got to them to call in some favors. 

Those of us in Harrisburg would love to see Mr. Lorah put some of his fire into the neighborhood in which he is invested. Sadly,he belongs to a group of people who see Harrisburg as a problem to be exploited and not a jewel.  We prefer to believe the latter. 

Merry Christmas to the 150 of you who showed up on the behalf of Harrisburg to show your support and God Bless you all!***

Lori Davis

Current Boundaries of Commission Dist 1


bradleyeowens said...

Well written Lori. 150 people is enough to swing a race in District 1.

I think that folks like Mark can be brought over to our side if we engage him on the issues and show him where he stands to gain more by helping than excluding District 1.


BeatnikGothChick said...

Terrific, Lori! We were honored to attend the party and to meet you and others who are fighting to save Harrisburg. Your neighborhood is a very historic place, and we appreciate all you are doing to help make things right there. Keep up the great work.

Francie Klopotic