Thursday, July 20, 2017

Daddy Dearest

Dad's mad.

You see Dad bought each of his kids a car. Not really his idea but he was at the Friday Fish Fry and heard all the other Dads talking about the cars they bought for their kids. When, make, model, know, regular "man-measure" kind of talk. So Dad starts to thinking...if you can call herd mentality "mentality" then Dad was thinking. He was thinking he better be fixing to get ready to get his kids some cars.

And so he did.

Then something unexpected happened. Kids took to driving. Every chance they got. Seemed like if they didn't have to be at home they were gettin' in them cars and gettin' the hell out in a Dodge. Probably because Dad was paying for the car, the insurance and the gas. Why not? Road Trip!

Unintended consequences. See, Dad wanted the kids hangin' 'round town not toolin' 'round north Georgia with their buds. 'Murican Iron but not Chevys and Levees. What's a Dad, especially a Mad Dad to do?

Well, being the kind of parent that Rosemond says has destroyed America, Dad figured he'd just pay them to stay home. So that's what he's gonna do.

The real problem, in case you were wondering where this was going, is with the City and Petty Paternalism. Not the kind where they want to keep your goats outta their right of way, make you cut your grass, make sure your roofer installs drip edge or prevent you from working at home. This is turned inward. As hard as it is to believe this is directed towards the police, arguably the most responsible folks on the payroll and certainly the only folks held in high enough esteem to be packing in City Hall. When there is political hay to be made Cops Is Tops but when it comes to deciding how to live their own lives they are just like the rest of us.

Cops shouldn't take this personally as it is basically as thoughtless as the Fish Fry Decision. Other cities give their cops "take home" cars and if Dunwoody is anything it is unoriginal so our Cops get cars too. They also get pretty much the same craptastic pay because, well, that is what all the other cities pay. It has come to the Sauron-like attention of our Powers-That-Are this level of pay might keep your take home car out of a Dunwoody Driveway unless you marry well or are on a call. Persistent paternalism precludes them entertaining the possibility of a cop wanting to not live in Dunwoody. It's not like any of the Cops out there are Ryan Seacrest.

But there is a simpler way than playing the Parenting Game. Here's a thought: let's pay Cops a living wage. Yeah, yeah. That's not what everyone else does and well, we're part of the herd. But we don't have to be and it really isn't that difficult to break free.

Take the cars for instance. What does it cost to own and operate one of those beasts? Before you add all the do-dads that make a nice ride a Cop Car. Cipher on that and come up with an annualized cost, gross it up and add that to their top line pay. Let them pick their own car. If they want to get an off-lease Camry because they're saving for a college education then that is their choice. After all if we can trust them to make responsible split-second decisions where firearms are involved we can probably trust them to pick a ride.

Then there is the calamity of where City Hall wants them to live. First requirement: City Hall needs to get off its collective high horse and let our employees decide where they want to live. If you think the factors influencing a car buying decision are tricky try juggling school choice, two jobs and increasingly "what do we do with the parental units?" Not to worry. Someone down at City Hall knows just what you need. NOT! Like the cars, housing is a cost/comparative study. How expensive is DaVille? Compared to? Pick some comps, here and abroad. Make an assessment, gross it up and make the adjustment. No one is saying that a Cop's pay gets you a million dollar infill McMansion but there are some Four-Four-and-a-Door Dunwoody Classics needing a little TLC that are well within reach.

The bottom line is this: pay Cops a living wage and let them live their lives.