Tuesday, February 26, 2008

FW CITY COUNCIL: draining the coffers two projects at a time...

In a never before seen event on this blog, LPAC is actually going to promote David Roach's X-Wire for challenging City Council on a recent "rubber stamp purchase of sixty some odd police" and other city operated vehicles for a mere 1.8 million, yes million, dollars. Why do we need 60 new police cars? And furthermore after City Council frivolously authorized how much money for Harrison Square (which will result in a loss of 10 years of equity that we just payed off) and the Omni Source debacle we have now added another debt of 1.8 million to the tax payers? Come on people, stand up and demand that City Council be responsible for protecting your investment- that is right- Our City! Our Investment!

Some other questions I would love to have a valid and well thought answer for are:

The police cars:

Why did you buy the same traditional police models that are fuel inefficient when there are hybrid vehicles available in police models (or that can be easily converted) that achieve thirty plus miles per gallon of alternative fuels in the city?

Why not seek advertising or corporate sponsorships for the purchase of at least half of the police cars which are replaced by the ad company every three years and we only spend a few dollars per car?

Now granted, I will say that, I wouldn't want to see a car completely littered with ads but at the same pointe having advertising on the back window and the quarter panels is something we already do. I do also think it would be a great way to promote City festivals and events that reoccur with a stable date parameter referenced. In other words City Council could issue a rule that 1. there can only be so many ads per car and at certain locations with certain dimensions and 2. at least one of the ads per car has to be from a local non for profit community organization and or City-County agency. And besides what better way for a criminal to know the number of a bail bondsman or lawyer then to have the advert on the back of the front seat in the cruiser?

Anyway back to the questions:

What is this about 3.7 million dollars in overtime to our police officers?

I'm sorry but in business if you are paying any amount of regular overtime it is time to add at least one to five new employees rather than paying time and half or double time and overworking your employees. Now I do realize that some of that comes from officers working at banks and schools on their days off, but still. If you aren't paying them enough in the first place it makes the previous necessary as a supplement; however the practice of loaning out police officers should be curtailed, if the City is loosing more money then it is getting for their services in the private sector. I can see charging the businesses or events for their time and service but it should be done on the clock and as part of the officers normal schedule and pay. I also have major issues with Police Officers working certain types of Private Events in Public Uniform and Dress or acting in a position of Authority of Law Enforcement, when all they are is a Security Guard. Take the double sided edge of misinterpretation or abuse of power seriously and don't say that it wont happen because it has already several times over in this City and County alone.

And now for a couple other more GoGreen or Enviroliving based questions:

As most people are aware Main Street westbound between Clinton and Calhoun has been blocked off for installation of a new heating and cooling unit on top off the City County building. What I haven't been able to find is any details on the unit its self.

Is it an eco friendly unit?
Are there plans to eventually use grey water from the CCB to feed the unit or is it going to waste fresh water?
Is it solar/wind powered since the bulk of the cooling mandate and power draw is in the "heat of the day"?
If solar power is so awesome then why hasn't City Council issued a mandate that all City owned and operated properties be outfitted with Solar Panels in the next four years?

I would love to read everyones' answers to all the questions.


Robert Fuller said...

Ok i agree with the post on alot of things.I also disagree with a few.Hybrid vehicles for our regular street cops just wont work.We need our officers on the streets to be able to go after someone.If we use hybrid vehicles for our street cops.It would kinda remind me of 30's with Fords V8 outrunning anything that local cops had.Now if you want them for detectives and streeet supervisors.Im all for it.Advertising sounds realistic.The problem I have with it is that I dont want big kroger logos on squad cars or any other company for that matter. Now if you want to advertise what Nascar does with sponsors might work. Little decals on sides of doors I like that idea better than having big logos painted on squad cars.Solar Panels I really like that idea it is a valid point.Finally a local blog thanks

Jeff Pruitt said...

The vehicles aren't purchased they are leased and my understanding is that these were replacements for vehicles that were around 8 years old. As you can imagine police officers put a lot of mileage on the cars and that's why they wanted to replace them.

As for solar panels, they simply aren't efficient - especially with the lack of insolence we get in NE Indiana. I ran the numbers for my home and calculated that it would take about 100 years to recoup my cost...

Templeton Peck said...

I believe the new squad cars are needed to chase after the most vicious and terrifying of criminal, the bar smoker. That's what I was told anyway.

Robert Enders said...

To answer your questions
1. Because Crown Victorias and Impalas do not come in hybrid versions yet.

2. If the FWPD accepts a sponsorship, people will accuse them of favoritism towards their sponsor.

3. Most of that overtime was covered by federal grants. The rationale behind accepting grant money is that if we don't waste it here, it will just get wasted elsewhere.

FWPD officers are allowed to supplement their income by working security for private entities. Since they retain all legal police powers, they are still police officers, NOT security guards, and are therefore entitled to wear a police uniform.

Bobby G. said...

As per the FWPD cruisers:
1) you need something that will keep UP with all the "regular" cars that now boast 250-300 BHP (which in and of itself wastes a crapload of gas).
2) as others have said, they are LEASED (fleet vehicles), but they STILL accumulate wear & tear.
3) After about 4 years if active service, these vehicles start to become more expensive to MAINTAIN - blame that on all the "planned obsolescence". we enjoy. Eight years is REALLY stretching it.
4) no adverts, please, unless it is in conjunction with public safety or law-enforcement.

Some (but far from all) of a lot of the overtime is funded with federal grants (ahem)- Sgt. Jon Bonar for example and his "T/S" posse (traffic stops).
But as for "events", the promoters should cough up the $$$ for the officers. That seems fair enough.

I like the SOLAR idea, but I think City hall has PLENTY of "hot air" to fuel much of the buildings down there already...lol.


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