Lulled to sleep in Suffolk

Published 9:00 pm Monday, October 13, 2014

By Joseph L. Bass

Few people recognize the political lullaby dance, but most know about “Dancing With the Stars.” The popular television program helps lull citizens so they will not recognize the lullaby dance.

Most Americans are happily distracted. To recognize the political lullaby dance, citizens have to pay attention to what the elite rich and politicians are up to.

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Phase one of the political lullaby dance goes something like this: The elite rich and our politicians decide they want something to line their pockets. The rich include developers that turn good farmland into miles and miles of houses. To do whatever it is they want to do, legislation has to be passed that will not be in citizens’ best interest. If the happily distracted citizens don’t notice, the legislation is passed and we, the citizens, suffer later.

But if citizens learn about such an effort early enough and rise up against it, the effort will be temporarily cut off.

Phase two of the dance involves stalling. The happily distracted focus on “Dancing With the Stars” and forget about the political issue. With citizens lulled, the politicians enact legislation that helps the rich.

Today we have phase two of a political lullaby dance right here in Suffolk. Developers purchased and partially developed land along the 3300 block of Bridge Road that is zoned for business. But they misjudged economic conditions and after the recent crash there is no need for business development in that area.

The developers, suffering from their misjudgment, petitioned the city to rezone the property for apartments. Such a rezoning is not consistent with the city’s Unified Development Ordinance or in the best interest of citizens. The Planning Commission and city staff recommended the City Council deny the request. On June 19 council tabled the request, leaving it hanging, though members said they were not in favor of a rezoning that would allow apartments there.

The council and the developer continue to stall, waiting for citizens to be lulled enough to pass the rezoning.

If citizens do not awake and restart the effort to loudly voice their views, the council will approve the rezoning, and generations of our ancestors could endure the dangers associated with school buses pulling into and out of the area onto a busy highway.

The political lullaby dance has worked for developers and politicians many times in the past. If Suffolk citizens opposed to endangering children’s lives don’t wake up, the dance will be successful again.

Joseph L. Bass is the executive director of ABetterSociety.Info Inc., a nonprofit organization in Hobson. Email him at