Sunday, March 15, 2009
Has Mayoral Candidate Helding Gone Insane?
Alderman Greg Helding, one of 11 candidates for mayor in the April 7 primary, has called for the demolition of the so-called "notorious" Jacato Drive apartment buildings.
Helding said in a press release:
“It is high time to solve this problem once and for all. The law allows the city to proceed against the buildings as a public nuisance.
“Buildings on Jacato Drive average more than two police calls a day. We have had three officers hurt in three days. This simply cannot continue. The state of these apartments has become a threat to public safety."I am astounded at the types of people that we are entrusting to govern our city. I would believe that any person who calls himself a Christian, an aldermen and is seeking the highest position in city government to lead the community forward, would be more sympathetic about citizens that are less fortunate than others.
Although I view Mr. Helding's suggestion as no more than political grandstanding and posturing for the voters that appeal to fear, I must also admit that Mr. Helding selected an issue that he was assured his highly righty conservative support base would jump aboard. Over the years I’ve noted politicians find it easy to launch campaign platforms that are highly inflammatory, and act as wedge to issues that further divide our communities.
It also surprises me that with the same types of illegal activities, including several shootings and homicides occurring in his own 11th District (Rubberville and Georgetown), that Mr. Helding would totally ignore the draining of valuable police resources in his area, and not call for the demolition of those properties.
You would also think from his press release that Mr. Helding is suggesting that all the residents of that area are criminal and should be driven out into the streets and relocated to some type of refugee camp.
It is quite troubling to believe that any elected official would advocate kicking entire families out on the street because of the inability of our police department to rid the city of the bad guys that they themselves have admitted they know who they are.
It also baffled me that Mr. Helding would desperately crank up his rhetoric weeks before an election that the challenge for all the candidates is to bring communities closer together, rather than divide them.
It seems that the only good idea that our city officials and the police department can come up with to curb crime is to build another cop house. Maybe that's what Mr. Helding and his colleagues can begin working on to end crime in the Jacato Drive area. I think that idea is better than kicking young babies and their mothers into the street to fend for themselves without any feeling of responsibility to those that are victims of crime themselves.
It is easy for Mr. Helding to target that area, because of the high number of minorities living in those complexes. People that he most likely feels would not vote for him anyway.
As taxpayers we should expect better planning from our elected officials. Not an overnight dream that could easily turn into a nightmare for many of our citizens who live in those apartments. What do you think?