Somebody better stop ’em

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 12, 2004

Tragedy In Northern Canada: Canada’s worst air disaster occurred early this morning when a Cessna 152, a small two-seater plane, crashed into a cemetery in central Newfoundland. Search and rescue workers have recovered 826 bodies so far, and expect that number to climb as digging continues into the evening. Somebody better stop ’em.

I feel the same way about Suffolk citizens &uot;demanding&uot; and expecting a five-cent reduction in the property tax rate. That’s a pittance when compared to the overall cost problem of ever increasing assessments. Imagine a home assessed at 200,000. At the rate of $1.08 per hundred that comes to a $2160 tax. Drop the rate five cents and it’s $2060.

That $100 saving won’t buy the mom’s celebrex for three months. &uot;It’s the assessment, stupid,&uot; spend your efforts on restraining assessments.

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Somebody better stop the traffic to the mayor’s office, developers with their attempts to circumvent the UDO straps. He might get the idea people don’t like the rules interfering with their plans to control their destiny. The mayor insists those fellows are only testing the wind, not attempting in any way to grease the skids. Mr. Willis could spend hours with the mayor just pointing out the silly stuff but would he listen?

Perhaps the mayor could trim office hours dramatically by shunting developers to another door where they can meet with a city planner. Keep his time for those other regulars who appear before council with other matters in mind, mainly city unnecessary spending. He would quickly learn whether the &uot;regulars&uot; are serious, or merely looking for two or five minutes in the limelight, the allotted time before council.

Somebody ought to ask Dennis Craff, the city man with the knowledge, to show everyone the &uot;Business Plan&uot; for the Cultural Center so we might get a definite idea as to who will occupy it – no generalizations. How much will they pay for the space and length of the lease? How many slots are slated for city departments on a rental basis and how much? I’d ask the mayor but I might embarrass him. We have heard many lofty plans for adding to our culture but are there any concrete, nailed down? None of us doubt the intentions of the group behind the plans but we are concerned about the amount of tax dollars that will be needed to sustain it and make the bondholders happy. Mr. Craff may reassure us.

If we are so all fired about keeping up with the Joneses, cities next door and beyond, then why the fifty grand to study the plight of the police department? Somebody should ask the chief of police in each of those cities to whisper what he pays his cops. Settle for that. Any police person would accept it and be bonused by the fact that patrolling most of Suffolk is a walk in the park–that’s most of Suffolk. There seems to be no scrimping on patrol cars, every blessed one of them sticks out like a sore thumb. Well maybe there are a few unmarked models prowling around. Maybe all of them should be unmarked with hidden blue flashing lights so that they can sneak up behind speeders. I’d like that.

Somebody, in fact everybody, should stop complaining about Democratic Senator Zell Miller’s speech at the Republican Convention. They claim he went &uot;over the top,&uot; among other less favorable comments on his performance. It didn’t matter what he said or whom he was talking about, it was one hell of a speech. No mealy mouth, he said what was on his mind and said it clearly. If he used a teleprompter you couldn’t tell. I love it when somebody takes off the kitten gloves and nails his subject, pins it to the floor, both shoulders square on the mat, no apologies. It was one of those rousers people will talk about a long time. I’m not even sure what he said, but I will always remember the way he said it…like it had been welling up in him for years and he wanted it off his chest. Stop the whining critics, you liked it too.

It is jackass action when one person, not attending the party, was able to convince school authorities to end the career of a fine coach. Surely we should also be told who the whiner was that could find evil in beer at an adult event. The kids did not drink and surely they were not permanently scarred because of the presence of the drink. Administrators are too mum and it makes them look a bit like a &uot;girliemen.&uot;

Robert Pocklington lives in Suffolk and is a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be reached at