Our story on Fort Worth City Council candidate Marshall Hobbs (“Pesky Facts,” May 2, 2012) created some division in the West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association.
Member Suzette Watkins posted a link to our story on the association’s Facebook page, but it was quickly removed by association officers.
That reeked of censorship to some.
“This is the first time anything had ever been deleted that I’m aware of,” said resident Naomi Vaughan.
“The censorship by the group moderator [John Young] was supported by the Advisory Council of the WMNA,” she said. “The motive was personal and pointed at the person who posted it, rather than the actual article. Either way, it was still deleted, which defies logic in my opinion. I can’t believe WMNA supported the censorship.”
Vaughan and another resident, Suzette Watkins, created a new Facebook page this week, the Meadowbrook Community Neighborhood.
“Not to be mean, ugly, or rude, but the other Meadowbrook Neighborhood page … was censoring posts and comments,” Watkins posted. “They wanted the page to be ‘apolitical’ and very controlled. Naomi Vaughan and myself thought it’d be nice to have a neighborhood Facebook page that was open, honest, informative, educational and uncensored (for the most part).”
Another post by Watkins blasted the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for its articles on whether Hobbs met residency requirements to run for election in District 8:
“WARNING: Political Content Included,” she wrote. “In case you haven’t heard, one of the candidates for the City Council race for District 8, which includes most of Meadowbrook, is involved in a scandal about meeting the residential requirements for the District. Whether he wins or loses, it is wrong for his name to be allowed on the ballot if sufficient evidence was not present to prove his residency in our neighborhood. Bill Hanna, reporter for Star-Telegram wrote an article stating: ‘Hobbs’ attorneys provided copies of Hobbs’ gas bill, showing that he paid the bill at his address on Oakland Boulevard as far back as July.’ I, personally, went and viewed the court file and got a copy of it and there is no ‘copy of a gas bill”‘in the file. So, where did Bill Hanna get his information? Please email Bill Hanna and the owner of the Star-Telegram and ask them to explain. … Corruption in politics must be confronted. Why would we the people run from accountability and not to it? The election is this coming Saturday. Be informed. It’s in your best interest.”
The original Meadowbrook page offered comments of a different ilk. Darin W. Hoppe supported the decision to keep the site free of negativity (his post is edited for length):
“As I have been reading and re-reading the threads posted over the last few days and weeks by some members of this group, I am shocked, embarrassed, angry, saddened, somewhat at a loss for words, and a little confused. I think the West Meadowbrook area is a GREAT area, and if it weren’t I wouldn’t live here. Isn’t that how it is supposed to be? If you don’t like WHERE you live MOVE! If you don’t like WHERE your business is located, MOVE IT! The West Meadowbrook area is NOT the same area it was back in the 70s. I did not live here then, but had family that did. This was one of the only areas to come and get Baskin Robbins Ice Cream, and for really special occassions we would go to the seafood restaurant Bill Martins – which is now the Family Dollar. These were good memories of my childhood.
“So much more can be done with neighbors and business united, NOT divided,” his post continued.
“Now, one last question: Do you want to be part of the problem, or part of the solution?” he concluded.
Hobbs, for one, was inspired by Hoppe’s post.
“This is not a political forum and I am in…I live In Meadowbrook and moved in for the reasons Darrin outlined…its diversity and quality of life is why we moved in Meadowbrook,” he wrote in a comment. “Therefore, the negativity can stay Out…Be Blessed.”