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Story One

They neglected to monitor

by Phil Bartle, PhD


Upper Mersey was abuzz with activity. Their biggest problems, being a slum suburb of a big city, were youth vandalism and drugs. It looked as if it were to be solved by community action. Michael Smith had come to them, organized several meetings, and now there was a community organization set up to find solutions, the most exciting one being a youth center to be run by the youth, to organize sports, and to help find jobs. Donors appeared from many surprising places, a company donated uniforms with its name on the shirts, a construction company helped with both the design and the materials for the club house. Various ministries chipped in with some of the funding.

Michael Smith did not have time to sit back and enjoy the show, for he had responsibilities in other communities as well. Had he done so, he would have noticed that both he and the community members should have been monitoring the process more closely. Julian Cezar was a highly ambitious local politician. He was going around, raising votes, by claiming that he was responsible for bringing the youth center to Upper Mersey, Cezar had hijacked the community process for his own political purposes. He stole from the people the right to say, “We did it ourselves.” Michael Smith had to be very careful for Cezar could be a dangerous enemy.

Secretly using some friends in the News industry, Michael leaked out that Cezar was not the person responsible for the youth centre, but the people in the community who had organized. Had Michael and the Upper Mersey committee members been monitoring more closely, this could have been nipped in the bud, as it were, and stopped before it had grown to be such a problem.

Note: These stories are based on actual events. The names of people and places have been changed for the sake of anonymity.


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© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle
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Last update: 2011.09.23

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