Read this today on My Fox Memphis...Memphis Police officers are fleeing the force faster than the department can replace them.
Through August 102 police officers have left the department. Of that number, 53 resigned from the force while 49 have retired. Mike Williams, the head of the Memphis Police Association, said many of those officers who resigned had just a few years on the job.
In the past month and a half 19 officers turned in their letters of resignation.
In light of the this article, I would encourage all of you who did not agree with those cuts to Fire and Police to engage in the local system of governance that did this to them. I have listed some things below that to me show the priorities of the the City of Memphis are not in line with average citizens. Why is that? Because most citizens are not engaged in the system.
The City spends A LOT of money on bureaucracies that are doing projects that aren't what government was set up to do. There is this idea that the private sector, which is for-profit, will not run things as fairly as a government who forces citizens to give up their own hard-earned money through taxes to pay for things like the "Urban Arts Plan" or a thousand other projects that if they had to choice, they would not fork over their taxes to these projects...no matter how great of an idea or how kind and compassionate they are. Without the private sector and for-profit business, there would be no charities or ridiculous sounding plans like the "Urban Arts Plan". Why does the city have to be responsible for Parks, tennis courts, golf courses...you think the private sector couldn't handle those things? If you didn't have all of these other non-emergency bureaucracies and pet projects to pay for, you could pay our front line workers what they deserve and most people don't mind their taxes going to pay for essential services.
There is a mindset that government is better at running certain things but those things have to be paid for and tell me..what government-run type service operates better than their private sector equivalent? The Postal Service, the Veterans Administration, the DMV, Amtrak,etc? Private business has to generate a profit to stay in business, it's this fact that helps them to make better decisions and be more efficient in order to survive. The government when not run efficiently will just raise taxes or cut benefits, neither of which fixes the original problem and as most people know...you can't do this forever, you will hit a wall of tolerance where people say I'm not going to take it anymore or you will eventually run out of other people's money...
Didn't mean for this update to be so long but I am passionate about the topic of our system of governance...if you don't engage, others will and they will most likely be the parasites that live off the fruits of the taxes people pay.
Support your local Fire & Police....SHOW UP TUES at the meeting and engage in YOUR system..."of the people, by the people, and for the people" is just a cliche until you engage.
Tuesday Sept 2nd is the next Memphis City Council meeting. You can read over the agenda at this link...
So much fun reading material, so little time. I will note some things that jump out at me...
1. RESOLUTION congratulating Rev. Eric Donaldson on being a semi-finalist in the
Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking.
ACTION REQUESTED: Adopt the resolution
Having been a former member of Toastmasters, this honor is pretty impressive and we congratulate Rev. Eric Donaldson for this achievement. Now, having said that, is this the best use of taxpayer funded meetings that should be doing the business of running a city? I think not and if you ever attend a meeting and see how many hours of this kind of public accolades awarding process that goes on, you might feel the same way. The meeting starts at 3:30 and the real agenda sometimes doesn't get started until after 4:00. How about doing this before the city meeting actually starts or holding it at the end of the meeting when you reserve the time for the public to speak on whatever they want. If they really cared about what the public has to say, they would have them speak at the beginning of the meeting...
25. ORDINANCE to amend the provisions of the City of Memphis, Code of Ordinances,
Title 6 – Business Licenses and Regulations, Chapter 6-44 – Limousine, Shuttle and
Other Vehicles for Hire and Article 2 – Certificate of Public Convenience, up for
T H I R D and F I N A L reading.
Hedgepeth Ordinance No. 5561
I am guessing this has to to with Uber & Lyft services which provide much needed competition for Memphis City Taxi services. The Taxi companies don't really like the competition, but consumers who can save money do. How about leveling the playing field by removing the onerous regulations the current taxi companies have to comply with? The Taxi companies want Uber & Lyft to have to jump through the same onerous hoops they do, that way, they can quash the competition. Not sure what this is but I will have a full report after Tuesday...
26. RESOLUTION appropriating $375,000.00 in Other Project Cost, funded by G.O. Bonds
General to continue the implementation of the Urban Art Plan, CIP Project Number
EN01003, chargeable to the FY2015 Capital Improvement Budget.
ACTION REQUESTED: Adopt the resolution
Don't you just love government speak: "Other Project Cost" It will be interesting to see what "Other Project Costs" are... Now, as far as the "implementation of the Urban Art Plan"...when you pay your city taxes, are you excited to find out you are paying for the "Urban Art Plan"? I admit I don't know what the "Urban Art Plan" is but I'm quite sure if I had the choice, I wouldn't want to fund it. Is this why we elect leaders to office? So they can cut the Fire & Police benefits but fund the "Urban Art Plan"?
29. RESOLUTION accepting and appropriating $248,323.06 in grant funds from the
Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for Wolf River Greenway Phase 5A.
ACTION REQUESTED: Adopt the resolution
Oh yay!!! More centralized planning for the masses. Yes, most of this is paid for with grants (TAXPAYER FUNDS) but if you read my blog, you know that grants are nothing more than redistribution of wealth. You are either for limited government or not and if you want the government to be able to pay frontline workers what they are worth, you can't be funding every green planet saving project that comes down the pipeline. Is the Wolf River Greenway a cool idea? Perhaps, but that's not the point. There are lots of cool ideas the government can centrally plan and central planning never works out well in the end. Let these ideas succeed or fail in the free market...but I digress...
Also in the morning, 9:15 a.m. PUBLIC WORKS, TRANSPORTATION & GENERAL SERVICES COMMITTEE
5. An Ordinance to Amend Title 6, Chapter 44 – Business Licenses and Regulations of the City
of Memphis, Code of Ordinances to Govern Certain Non-Profit Organizations Providing
I'll keep this brief since it's sooo exciting but here is part of the resolution they want to pass...
Where as non-profit organizations can offer these transportation and related services to seniors and visually impaired residents at an affordable rate because they use volunteer drivers and receive donations; and
Where as current public vehicle licensing requirements complicate the ability of non-profit organizations to use volunteers drivers in order to keep the cost of their transportation services low; and
Read that last sentence again and tell me that doesn't explain in a nutshell what is wrong with regulations impeding FOR PROFIT businesses and growth. I use the FOR PROFIT terminology proudly and I would just like to declare...PROFIT! IT'S A GOOD THING!
Isn't this issue the whole crux of the argument regarding Uber and Lyft? Taxi companies can't compete well because current public vehicle licensing requirements complicate the ability of FOR PROFIT organizations to keep the cost of their transportation services low??? Read your own resolution....it's quite telling.
Stay tuned for Keeping Up With the Kouncilmen....