Tuesday, November 08, 2005

NO 'CSI' FOR GREENE COUNTY

The Community Safety Initiative went down in flames Tuesday, 59-41. The quarter-cent sales tax "would have generated about $10 million a year for law enforcement need and early childhood education programs aimed at crime prevention," according to the News-Leader.

Social conservatives decried the linkage of a cop tax with "raise-a-village" programs. Their criticism doomed the measure. It certainly wasn't an anti-tax mood; pocketbook issues passed muster in Taney and Webster counties.

We can tell you that city and county officials did not see this defeat coming. They failed to follow the first rule of politics: keep it simple. Had they gone for a law-enforcement-only tax, it would have passed. Springfield sorely needs a better animal-control department. That issue would have met with voter approval, too.

Earmarking $2.775 million for "a plan to help families connect with classes, services or activities to give their young children the healthiest start" was not smart politics. Outstanding public policy, yes, but outrageously dumb politics.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, for me it was pocketbook issues. I'd love to have better animal control (read 'feral cat control'), but I'd also love to have new shoes for my kids. I feel 1/4 cented to death, and the sun never seems to set on those clauses.

Duane Keys said...

I agree had the early childhood stuff been removed that it would have passed. It was dumb politics...

John Stone said...

Or .. that if Greene County Deputy Dawgs ... hadn't been patroling the down town area on weekends looking for the cuties in short skirts ... rather than out in the county where they belong ... people might have had more faith in how they spend our money ...

Houn' Dawg News said...

Of course, there were some of us that saw early prevention as just being more of the DAREesque programs that don't work anywhere, and may even be counterproductive. As it was worded on the ballet, it seemed like more of the same, which has only succeeded in putting increasingly more of our citizens in prison for simply wanting to get high. Then again, I may have been mistaken about what the ballet said. I suppose that's what drugs can do to you.