Mayor Carty Finkbeiner has repeatedly stated that having Marines running around with guns and firing blanks in the central business district of the city on a Friday afternoon is not appropriate, considering the number of workers who would be leaving the downtown area at the same time.
Today, our local paper has quotes that include the presence of children transferring buses downtown on their way home from school as further justification of the decision.
And many individuals who have agreed with the Mayor's position have referenced the timing as their reason for supporting the decision.
But the facts about the training - when it would have begun and when the troops would have been on the streets - are missing, conveniently so from the Mayor's statements.
The Marines' advance team was notified of the Mayor's decision upon arrival in the city - at 3:20 p.m.
"Sergeant Davis, who traveled ahead of the five-bus convoy, stepped from his vehicle into downtown about 3:20 p.m. and was told by a city employee that the mayor wanted him and his soldiers packed up and out by 6 p.m."
According to numerous sources, the Marines were not scheduled to arrive until the 4-5 p.m. hour. They would have unloaded themselves and their equipment, set up their headquarters, received briefings and instructions and would not have been out on the streets until after the evening rush hour - and certainly after all the kids had finished with their school bus transfers.
Additionally, if it was the number of people during rush hour that was the problem, why were the Marines given a deadline of 6 p.m. to be out of the city? This would have put them in the position of loading up the advance equipment and supplies and traveling out of the city at the same time as the rush hour traffic - perhaps scaring workers even more. This doesn't make sense.
Tom at BizzyBlog has a great post on his perception of The Blade portraying Carty as a victim. The paper contributes to the overall problem by failing to detail the schedule of training, thus demonstrating that Carty's reasoning for his decision is faulty - or at least, not as portrayed.
And individuals who read only the paper (which is, admittedly, the only media source with the ability to devote sufficient space/time to the story to include such details), will take Carty's reasoning at face value and may, actually, agree, but only because they lack all the details.
Carty needs to explain the contradiction between the actual training schedule and his excuse for kicking the Marines out of the city.
ASIDE: Blade Columnist Roberta deBoer has an interesting column that suggests the real reason Carty made this decision is ... pride.