Floyd Countians, by and large, are a friendly bunch when it comes to welcoming newcomers who move to our area. We offer help in providing information, recommendations on builders, plumbers, electricians and services.
Amy and I have put newcomers up in our guest bedroom if they needed a place to stay, lent our cars to those who needed transportation and served as a mail drop or phone information center. Others we know do even more.
So it hurts when I see a newcomer feel like they are unwelcome.
During a discussion earlier this week on power outages from the weather, a South Carolina resident who is moving to Floyd County on January 28 offered an observation on what he had heard about a rolling blackout in the Annapolis, MD, area. That brought a response from a county resident who challenged the report, saying he could not find any news reports on the rolling blackouts. It also brought a prolonged, often contentious debate, over rolling blackouts and the honesty of utility companies.
To which our soon-to-be new resident of Floyd County responded:
I see how it is now. If this is how y’all are, I’ll stay away from here and damn sure keep my distance from downtown Floyd.
Was our newcomer overly-sensitive? Or did he see a community dominated by petty bickering over nothing?
The answer probably lies somewhere in between. Debates sometimes get out of hand here. It’s the nature of smart, passionate people who have strong opinions and defend them with passion.
But if those debates make potential new residents rethink their decision to join our community then are the discussions productive or counter-productive? I don’t have the answer but the issue deserves thought and consideration.