David Cutting, candidate for Clarksville Ward 8 City Council, in his first position paper, targets the issues of Public Safety. Cutting is seeking the seat currently held by Councilor James Doyle.
The current City Council systematically denies pay increases for our firefighters and police officers by first telling them they must accept salary reductions, so that when their current salaries remain uncut they feel good that at least they did not lose anything. However, the public loses, when seasoned officers leave for smaller cities, such as Ashland City and Oak Grove, for higher pay. We must then recruit and train replacements, at significant cost, when those funds, plus revenue from an increased property tax base (not increased property taxes) should have been used for parity increases to our already trained and devoted men and women.
We must curtail otherwise increasing crime, through police presence, unyielding continuation of enforcement of illegal drug and underage alcohol use, solicitation of new and better paying jobs and encouragement of continuing education for our youth and displaced adults, and government recognition of the value of family, church, school, and community involvement in the development of productive and law abiding residents.
We can eliminate many real safety hazards through non-costly means. I deal with one example, experienced Sunday afternoon, September 1, 2008, at Billy Dunlop Park. While the Clarksville park rangers do an excellent job of protecting our rights and our safety, they cannot be everywhere at the same time. I brought my two youngest children, ages 5 and 2, to the park for two hours of bicycle riding and free play, as park roads and pathways are supposedly safer even than the cul de sac on which we live. However, a large group of teens, uncaring about the safe enjoyment rights of small children, were drag racing and speeding, at up to 70 M.P.H. The simple and permanent solution is speed humps on the Boy Scout Road entrance road and the parking lot. We do not need the speed bumps that ruin our cars’ alignment. Humps, designed to make drivers and passengers bump their heads on their car roofs will be a better deterrent. City maintenance employees could install them at Billy Dunlop Park and other danger zones.
Finally, we must encourage valuable input from our police, firefighters, educators, social workers, and religious leaders. Public safety is the most important issue in this city, and to remain viable we must progress to a much higher level than currently exists.
Editor’s Note: Candidates for public office can submit up to four position statements for publication on Clarksville Online. Candidates are limited to 800 words and must address issues. These statements are not a vehicle for personal attacks.