Meetings with local politicians - hoo boy! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Well, through one of our local politicians I got an appointment to speak with the head of our communities Y2K program today. Unfortunately he was ill and had to postpone so it will be a few days before we can meet. Hopefully the thought of meeting with me wasn't what made him ill.

Anyhow, from what I can gather so far, we're not in very good shape.

I called our Mayors office last week and spoke with his administrative assistant. She inquired about what I wanted to meet with him about. When I mentioned Y2K, I was told that the mayor knew absolutely nothing about it and would not even have time to meet for the next two weeks at least.

As our municipal elections are in three weeks, I met with one of the candidates who has a very good chance of winning the Mayoralty race earlier tonight. He was totally shocked at what I told him about Y2K. He had no idea whatsoever that it could be a problem. He was very grateful that I spent the time to enlighten him but I could tell he was very disturbed by my news.

Basically, it looks like we are headed for a mess. I'll know more obviously after my meeting later this week, but it doesn't look good.

I think I really got through to the candidate I talked to tonight with one particular question I asked: This man is a manager for quite a few apartment buildings as well as a shopping mall. He knows that Januarys here are usually minus 30 to minus 40 degrees.

My question: What happens to your company's assets if we are without power for 24 hours or longer in January?

That got his attention. I know this man is a hard working conscientious fellow so if their is any good news, it is that he will get the ball rolling as soon as he gets elected. I hope and pray that he wins. At least it looks that he will have more insight than our current Mayor who doesn't seem interested in it.

-- Craig (, September 29, 1998


The time to worry about assets is now, come 2000 you can drop the "ets" from assets. Make copies of good articles on y2k, put it in a $1 binder from Walmart and dump it in their laps. Then write the local paper, and ask why the Mayor and city council haven't acted on the information they have on y2k. Stir the pot a little.

-- Bill (, September 29, 1998.

Memphis just unveiled the new city financial accounting and payroll system. Cost about 6 mil. Primary reason for the new system was to go Y2K compliant. Somehow I am getting the feeling the South may be taking this problem more seriously than the rest of the country. Do the rest of you feel this might be the case?

-- Paul Davis (, September 29, 1998.

May I respectfully suggest that you stop wasting the valuable time that YOU need to prepare? You don't say where your location is, but it sounds real urban, and therefore hopeless. Today, you should make the commitment to get out into a rural environment while there is still time.

-- Joe (, September 29, 1998.

I disagree about bugging-out to a rural environment being a personal priority as Joe says. Craig, I believe you are doing exactly what we all should be doing. Talk to local politicians, write your congressman, senator, The White House. Expose them to credible information. We need community action desperately. Bugging out to a rural environment is an option that few of us have.

-- Buddy Y. (, September 29, 1998.

Doesn't federal, state and local government depend on taxes to make it run? If Y2K gets as bad as we are all predicting, then that means businesses will go belly up, people will be out of work, no tax revenue coming in. I don't see what local government can do about Y2K. Even if THEY are compliant but businesses aren't, no one will have any assets to pay for anything. I suggest local government start stockpiling food and water, and tasty food! I heard about a hurricane shelter in Florida where people were complaining about the hot dogs and corn flakes they had to eat!!!!! Ha! Wait until they don't have anything to eat! We're in for some tough least those who haven't prepared.

-- Bardou (, September 29, 1998.

Joe, I do appreciate what you are saying and would like nothing better than to have some type of rural accomodation. The bottom line is there is no financial resources to do that. Plus, it would not help me to go somewhere where I had no employment and isolated from family and friends. We are doing all we can reasonably do where we live. Actually, it is a very small city by American standards. About 40,000 people. I've been here 31 years so I have a lot of connections and at least have a chance to get some awareness out to the general public. One of our main challenges is the extreme cold we have here in the winter. I want to spur our city leaders to put some strong contingency plans in place, especially regarding emergency shelters and generators so there is some place to go if we lose the power.

To Bill: Yeah.....I'll stir up the pot...........I've never been afraid to stand up for what I believe in.........looks like I got a few people agitated in the Jack Van Impe thread ;-)

-- Craig (, September 29, 1998.

I think its more effective to "stir the pot" in a smaller pot anyway.

My gas is local service (from a national distribution pipeline), sewage is local, electricity is regional (the EMC (local distribution only) is working on Y2K, but not finished), the water is local, the cops are local, the taxes are half local, the fire protection is local. Gasoline will be in local pumps, my job is local, and depends on all of those.

So where else should I go to? I'd rather try to get these existing things running.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, September 29, 1998.

From this sheet-flapper:

I fall firmly in the "individual preparation and community activism" group. The strength of individuals is dependent, or rather inderdependent upon the strength of communities. Enlightened self-interest informs me that it is in my best interest to be a Paul Revere, and I think there are ways to do this and minimize risks of exposure. But then, too, I also think there are fewer thugs "out there" than the government (who claim to want to protect us against said thugs) wants us to believe there are. Today I'm writing letter to the editor of the local weekly to ask some pointed questions about city government and the paucity of information about Y2K during the municipal election campaigns, and while I'm at it I'm gonna ask about embedded chips in the city's water system of 14 wells, 10 reservoirs, and 500 miles of pipeline.

Go Craig, Go!!

-- Donna Barthuley (, September 29, 1998.

I agree Donna, except you'd have to be a "Paullette" Revere, which us into a discussion immediately about revering "pullettes", which of course brings up the subject of chickens again, which leads into questions about what happens if the chicken hits fan .....

Unless your in OZ or NZ, where the fan hits the chicken ....

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, September 29, 1998.

I am still trying to figure out why you think a farm is safer. If you think so, I don't think you have ever been a farmer. During the time I was farming, trespassers and cow theft was common. Do you think it will get better if people have no food?

-- Paul Davis (, September 29, 1998.

Everything needs to be put in context. In considering rural versus urban we are NOT comparing the pros of good restaurants verus the cons of city noise, nor the pros of fresh air versus the cons of having to maintain your own septic field. We are talking about, if the worst-case events of Y2K come to pass (as I personally believe will), a chance at survival and a decent life style versus not such a chance. This cuts through a lot of confusion on this subject (I hope). Urban "communities", by their very nature of being a large population of largely strangers completely dependent on municipal services within a very close geographical proximity, have no chance. Rural "communities", for all the opposite reasons, do. I mean, this is plain common sense.

-- Joe (, September 29, 1998.


According to Robert, in order to make a farm really safe, you need some really Big guard chickens! Might ought to get the really mean Attack Chickens. Only thing is, I wonder if you can house break them so they can come inside at night...

-- Greg Sugg (, September 29, 1998.

Forget the big chickens, get yourself some geese! They may good watch birds.

-- Bardou (, September 29, 1998.

A letter to our incumbent city council candidate and his response - small city of 60,000 at about 200 miles from Craig (above):

You raise a good point, I'll discuss this issue with council and set in motion the frame work to develop a comprehensive educational program to inform the public what exactly may happen on Jan. 1. As for the 2 hour power outages, we have a plan already in place which was tested this summer. When Edmonton, Calgary and most other cities were faced with black outs due to lack of power, Red Deer instead turned off specific clients which had full emergency power generators. Therefore there was no power outage in Red Deer. About 60 to 70% of all energy consumption in Red Deer is by business, mostly large industrial users. We will continue to turn them off first, therefore limiting the risk of power failures to residents. The Y2k issue is of course a completely different ball gane, and people do need to understand the implications.

Someone is listening up here - of course they need to be so we don't all freeze. BTW we are moving to an acreage 30 miles away.

-- Laurane (, September 29, 1998.


As one Albertan to another, I'll believe your Red Deer politician when I see the information made public. I do not believe he will actually publish for one of two reasons: People may believe him (and panic) or people may not believe him (and he loses credibility).

The Division of the company where I work insists that it is Y2K compliant because it has done spot 2-hour tests and fixes on various aspects of the major programs it uses. The other Divisions are hoping to get software before Y2K that has been modified for our purpose and installed on time!?! (That's assuming we have power and all our customers/suppliers are compliant.)

-- Lois Knorr (, September 30, 1998.

Craig - I admire your bravery in approaching local politicians. I think that a community has resources that individuals don't have - for example, a pool that could be cleaned and filled with fresh water shortly before "the date", empty buildings that could be use to store food and water, tax money that hasn't been allocated yet, etc. Also, people could be organized to help move food around or whatever. For example, I have a truck and I'd be willing to haul whatever in an emergency. Ham radio operators could be identified, etc. I think it's a great idea.

-- Amy Leone (, September 30, 1998.

Thanks for all your comments and support gals and guys.

I just gotta (can we say "gotta" here cause I can't spell got to?) tell you about two brochures I received in the mail today. We have a civic election here on October 19th so the wannabe (can I say wannabe - the spice girls get to say it) mayors and councillors have their mailers out.

First brochure from a first time running gal. One of her

  • 's
  • says: Looking forward to heading into the new millennium with a positive energetic team.

    Give me a break! I emailed her with a dose of reality and told her that I was hoping we would head into the new millennium without too much chaos. In her whole brochure, not one mention of Y2K although there was some nice touchy-feely stuff (can I say touchy feely stuff - it makes me tingle all over).

    The second brochure made me laugh so hard that I wet my pants. distributed excessive humidity groinward.

    The man is currently a city councillor running for the Mayor's chair (no, not a literal chair and please understand I am in no way taking a jab at certain fundamentalists with that remark, merely defining my terms). In his extensive brochure the closest he comes to saying something useful about Y2k is a

  • bullet
  • that says: A pro- active strategy to deal with flood and other emergency situations.

    No mention of Y2K which will affect everybody......but floods, a relatively small problem is mentioned.

    It gets better........a politician in a poorly prepared city mentioning every minor issue you can lay your hands on, but not a peep about Y2K.

    Now listen to his credentials: Political Science degree Diploma in Education Undergraduate studies in Urban Development

    and now for the clincher:

    He is a member of the Planning and Development and the Protective Disaster Services committees.

    I'll be calling this gentleman to find out when he plans on informing the public about the coming disaster.

    -- Craig (, September 30, 1998.

    "Why too kay? What's that? Really? Say, you're not one of those 'survivalist' kooks, are you?"

    (What's a spice girl? Can I get one to help me prepare meals? I always seem to overdo it with the garlic.)

    -- Mike (, September 30, 1998.

    Emailed the city manager yesterday with Y2K concerns, concern about lack of public statements by city government about preparedness, and quotes from the AP article on Lubbock Texas simulations. This morning I received the following:

    Dear Ms xxxx:

    I received your e-mail regarding the year 2000 situation and want you to know that the City of Fullerton has been dealing with this issue for over the past two years. We have been updating our computer programs and working with all the myriad of service providers to ensure that our community is not impacted.

    By coincidence, our Council will be holding a public meeting next Tuesday at City Hall at 7:30 PM to receive briefings from not only City staff, but also from other layers of government and the major utilities. I would encourage you to either attend the meeting, watch it over the cable tv system, or at least pick up the background briefing materials from our City Clerk's office.

    Although the City of Fullerton does not control other levels of government or the utility companies, I can assure you that our City services such as police, fire, water and sewer services will not be impacted by the year 2000 situation.

    Jim Armstrong City Manager

    We shall see what they have to say about auxilliary power for water distribution and sewer systems next Tuesday, methinks.

    -- Donna Barthuley (, October 01, 1998.

    In response to the urge to "bug out" to a rural location - there is a very good reason for staying put and really working, as so many of you blessed people are, to educate your neighbors, city leaders, businesses, etc - one brought home for me watching the aftermath of Georges in Haiti. I always wondered what I would do if I saw my unprepared neighbor starving while I was unprepared, and judging by the horror and urgent need to contribute to the people who are literally hanging by a slim thread after the devastation to what is already the poorest country in the Caribbean, I know that I, personally, will feel compelled to help. I can't watch my own children go cold and hungry, but I can't watch another mother's child go cold and hungry either. So, as bleak as the outllok looks sometimes, for me, I have no choice but to stay here and try to educate the parents of my kids' friends, my neighbors. The fact that my town only has 2,000 people in it undoubtedly makes it easier, I know.

    -- Melissa (, October 01, 1998.

    A town with 2,000 people sounds like a workable situation (of course, as with everyone, we can only guess). To tell people in cities to stay put and pitch in is not workable for them.

    -- Joe (, October 02, 1998.

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