Called by some "The Most Powerful Blog in Roanoke," and "The Most Dangerous Blog in Roanoke" by others. A harsh light shining within the City of Roanoke, as it struggles to comprehend what it's place in the 21st Century will be.
We've come a long way, and we still have more years of greatness ahead.
Let the Star City shine once again.
The post you have all been waiting for is coming. If you have been watching the news, reading the paper, or listening to the water-cooler crowd talk - you know what I'm talking about - but the subject is so vast, so complex that it is taking me a while to get it all into one post.
After watching the way the city handled the Police officers greviances, the Sheriff's morale-boosting plan, and authorizing the sale of alcoholic beverages in city parks until 11:15pm.. one can only wonder how far into madness the City Council is willing to sink before the next election.
Making no friends is no way to run a campaign - and there are 4 seats up in the next election.
Come to find out today, contractors in the city have to be bonded each year. In most sections of the country - contractors need be bonded once, and carry that for the duration of the job. Bonding costs in the neighborhood of $12,000. And the city, in all it's infinite wisdom, insists that without a current-year date on the bond - it's not valid.
Tell that to the lawyers.
Double time now. Bring on the chaostrophy.
How about an individual, scouted and hired by the city to do a certain job, unable to do that job because the city does not understand the concept of Myspace, or it's value to the particular defined task.
Which they defined...
How it pains me to tell friends: "Come down to Roanoke, vacation and relax, but leave your common-sense at home. It has no place here."
I speak to you folks daily, from all walks of life. And no one of you can understand the operations of the machine. It astounds you to watch as the simplest concept gets skewed and changed into the biggest non-issue around.
You have faith in family, faith in G-d, faith in your job - but no faith in the City upholding it's end of the bargain. Like the schools.
And no, I do not need to illustrate that point - if you can't figure it out, you need to read the paper more often.
It's time for the citizens to do what the city cannot. Have faith in each other. Believe that it is possible for the city to get better, and it will. The "SoRo" minority cannot hold power over a populous motivated.
And do not think it is always South Roanoke behind everything. Or Carilion. Most often, it's blind ignorance or fear of movement that stifles the city.
It all comes down to the same issue - time after time. Who controls your hope?
The city council would certainly like to stifle that hope - the dream of a better future in the city, because it would mean they would have to make the highly unpopular choice of actually doing something. Unpopular amongst them. Watch a council meeting once - it only takes once before you, like Mr. Wishneff - are so beaten by the wet mop of Status Quo that you begin to lose hope.
13 pages. I can't wait to see that in print. Someone must have it.
A 13 page letter written by Darlene's office to tell the Roanoke cops "No. Not yours."
Here's a secret for you. Unspoken for a while.
Southeast Roanoke (our humble abode) is apparently larger than one might initially imagine. Not only does it run from the tracks south, Vinton west, and 581/220 east - but it includes the communities of South Roanoke, Garden City, and borders on Clearbrook and the gravel pits. That's including Avenham, Franklin Rd., Mt. Pleasant, Mill Moutain, Fallon Park....
Thats a large area. And only 3 cops patrol on each shift.
3 of Roanoke's finest, covering an area the size of a small Soviet-bloc country. Somehow it doesn't seem right does it?
Well, the reasoning is even more interesting. In order to keep appearances of staffing, the city reduced the maximum number of police on the force - because, well - it would never do to be understaffed now would it?
So when the city police ask for concessions - I say we should give them something. You are asking 9 of Roanoke's finest to do more in a 24 hour period than most cities ask of their officers.
Roanoke City Police run single man patrol cars, easily the most dangerous of the options for police. And how long before backup arrives.
You'll have to pardon me, but I'm the son of a cop - and this is a disgrace. I feel for the fine officers of Roanoke's own - they deserve better than this.
But a 13 page letter, outlining how much you've done, how you've given and bent over backwards.. and here we are running 3 unit shifts. No partner in the car, no backup in close proximity.
Take your letter and shove it.
Like I said - completely anonymously, I would welcome a copy of the letter. Just for my own edification.