It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
The above is an excerpt from a speech entitled "Citizenship In A Republic" by one of the country's great president ,Theodore Roosevelt, in 1910. Truth is, Roosevelt could have delivered this speech today to the citizens of Dunwoody.
Roosevelt says bully to the critics, let's give credit to the people who are actually doing the work. He said let's applaud those who have spent the long hours volunteering and laboring to make our city the best it can be. He said sure, these "doer of deeds" will make mistakes along the way, but in the end will "triumph."
Roosevelt was clearly speaking of the Clean Sweepers when he talks about the critics. The sweepers, all good souls to be sure, have put forth hardly an ounce of energy to make this city better. By their own admission they never served on the board of their local swim/tennis club, or church, or charity group, or baseball, football or softball league. They've never been an active member of the DHA - who's mission statement is to protect the homeowners of our fair city - or served as a volunteer in the parade or even attended a city council meeting (until deciding to run for a seat). Besides pointing out the flaws of those doing the work, these Clean Sweepers have done nothing.
In the same verse, Roosevelt talks about "the man who is actually in the arena." He says this is the man to be praised. This is the one who spent long hours in seemingly endless meetings to create a city or a school system, who woke up long before daylight to ensure the success of the parade, who raked the infield dirt hours before a ballgame at Murphey Candler, who tediously lined the football field, who slaved over the grill at the swim meet or pushed cars up and down a hill to ensure the success of the local soap box races. Roosevelt was talking about Denny Shortal, Doug Thompson and Heyward Wescott. For they have been, without fanfare, the "doer of deeds."
Do I agree with everything the city has done in its five years? Absolutely not. I think the city manager, while doing an adimirable job, needs more oversight, I feel the mayor, at times, could be less heavy handed, and hiring a traffic official (non-police officer) to handle the congestion at Vermack and Womack is, by far, the best solution for this intersection. However, I feel more comfortable placing those decisions in the hands of folks who have walked the walk, rather than the do-nothing Clean Sweepers, one of whom admitted at a candidate forum to being "asleep at the wheel."
I know "the doers" will not fall asleep on the citizens of this city. Please don't fall asleep on November 5.