Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Down The Yellow Brick Road To A Failed Police Station

The power of the Good Old Boys was firmly rejected by the Hoi Polli that comprise the base of Middleboro. The local paper had numerous letters of support for the project by former Selectmen, support of the current board, former Town Manager support, a “packed” study committee, the boards of town government, and topped it all off with a Mike Maddigan column on the value of the Peirce Store.
The collective resumes of those with perceived influence in town affairs was solidly rejected. A repudiation of the Good Old Boys? Seems to be.
One certainly respects the collective service of those with that extensive resume, but buy their opinion? On the fire truck? Wrong! Ambulance contract? Wrong! Casino? Wrong! Simple fact is just because you are versed and articulate on the process does not mean you are right or can design a convincing argument.
The linkage to the Peirce Store simply had negative traction. Jim Thomas nailed it with “militant preservationist.” Far too many simply viewed the linkage as a poorly veiled attempt to save a potential money pit. This is the proverbial tossing money down a rabbit hole.
I also get the impression that the subtle attempt to negatively portray every option just didn’t sell. The ones who count – voters – simply felt that the committee, despite ten (that’s 10!) arduous years of study and data compilation ignored other possibilities. You would hear the same locations repeated Ad nauseam and the same reasons to reject it – again, Ad nauseam. Folks just didn’t buy it.
The highest paid list of town employees has numerous members of the police department listed. Resentment? Possibly. A good weekend of details can make your monthly mortgage payment. Resentment? IMO an affirmative.
Taxes. Why should I vote for a tax increase? This, likewise, was a key ingredient, but in down times the CPA passed. Might me more to it than just taxes.
When you listen to those with similar opinions you become insular to the negative. Complacency sets in. You really need to do the ground work and I just didn’t see it with this project. A lot of preaching to the choir.
At one meeting with the public there appeared to be some hostile resentment towards those in “The Cheap Seats” having the audacity to raise legitimate concerns. That will not win any favorable points. Some of the reasoning was from the theater of the absurd.
It will never be cheaper!
Fiscal Nostradamus’ on the loose. Guess what? You said that in 2007 you would be wrong! 2009? Wrong! 2011? Wrong!
Then the safety issue as we await disaster at the police station.
This was the same bogus argument used for a fire truck. Another guess what? You are dealing with volatile situations. That is what all that Anna Maria training is all about. If officers can’t handle the job it is a leadership issue. I doubt you will hear that excuse at a Super Max or even Carver.
One supporter used the “I’m one of the highest taxpayers in town” for justification. Huh? What?
It’s the SMALL taxpayers that are of concern. You know, the ones that can’t write it off as a business expense. Can’t cut hours, benefits, raise prices or raise rents. If anything that type of convoluted thinking would change my mind from yea to nay.
Even Jim Thomas, publicly the harshest critic, supports a new station. Just not this one. I believe this may well be the prevalent attitude.

26 comments:

Hal Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hal Brown said...

Repost w/o typos:


Oregon is like the 48 other states that uses civilian flaggers. Here in Portland we have numerous road construction crews in high traffic areas. One I pass frequently has flaggers directing traffic at a five way intersection onto a bridge being repaired. Lanes are alternately closed on each end.

Something to ponder: every flagger uses a big sign with "stop" on one side and "slow" on the other.
I don't recall ever seeing a Mass. detail police officer use such a sign? Why do you suppose this is?

Richard McNair said...

In Massachusetts you can use civilian flaggers, but that is as rare as a cognizant post from me.

Today was the usually by Exit 4 where construction work continues. Three officers and no one directing any traffic.

You see the Stop/Slow sign holders everywhere in other states. In the Galveston, Texas area the going rate is $10 a hour.

This, Hal, is just another give away - like the Anna Maria College Bill....oops, I mean the Quinn Bill.

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