Thursday, January 10, 2019

DIY Safety

In the run-up to the rigged referendum city advocates commissioned a favorable report from the Carl Vinson Institute touting the financial viability of the city and providing a platform for these advocates to assert that citizens would see better, more responsive services at the same or lower taxes.

What happened?

Well, taxes have ONLY increased. A ten year streak. Staff, particularly police has dramatically expanded. And yet, we find ourselves without law enforcement, particularly when it comes to traffic violations in school zones.

Some have suggested a reduction in the school zone speed limit to 15 MPH. Doesn't really pass the sniff test even if you disregard the legal side effects. The fact is we have speeders who don't respect the current limit and they're hardly going to respect a lower speed limit.

But how did we get to this point?

First, where are we? We have a bloated, top-heavy, improperly organized police department lacking in vision, direction and leadership. If you complain enough, you'll get a radar speed trailer for a week or two, a complete show of farce as if a placebo cures cancer. One thing is certain, you're not going to see any actual police work getting done. They're not coming into the community for anything beyond lip sync and donuts-with-dad PR events. In fact, they've done everything they can to shirk what a reasonable person would consider police responsibilities by foisting these responsibilities on citizen patrols who have no actual enforcement capabilities.

And let's be very clear: every speeder is in a vehicle equipped with a Speed-O-Meter and they know exactly how fast they're going. So why do they speed? A better question would be why not speed? The city has no respect for speed limits and school zones so why should anyone else?

Yet we have a bureaucratic machination called a "Crime Response Team." Apparently when you ask this ephemeral CRT about traffic enforcement the answer is "NO!" begging the question: what are citizen's options to a failed government? Is it possible for concerned parents to have a slow motion pedestrian parade thru cross walks? That might slow speeders or divert them to other routes. Suppose a few cars driving five under the limits were injected into traffic that would otherwise scream thru at ten over. Would that have a similar effect?

But really, how did we get here? It started when 19% of the registered voters came out during a holiday week to vote for this disaster. Then we have a police chief, hired in the haste of startup, who has shown more concern for polishing his brass than for safety in our community. And that is because his boss, the city manager, doesn't care about school zone speeders and he doesn't care because the mayor and council don't care either. And frankly there is no reason for them to care as they are more beholding to developers than to residents and these school zones with their speed limits impede the flow of the developers' stakeholders. These are the mistakes that got us here and are the mistakes that will keep us here.

It hurts to admit that you've been scammed; that you've been deceived; that you've been taken advantage of. But the fact is we've been had.