Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Public Safety Is Job One Mayor Plans To Make First Big Announcement On Public Safety In Seven Years
When Mayor Greg Ballard first ran for office in 2007, the first line of virtually every speech he gave during that campaign was to assure voters he planned to make public safety job one if we was elected mayor. Shortly after he began his first term in office, the City-County Council passed an ordinance shifting control of the recently merged police department back to the mayor's office from the sheriff's office. Ballard quickly delegated control of the police department to his public safety director and thereafter had little to say on the subject. Despite having the benefit of the public safety tax enacted by his predecessor that contributed to his defeat in the 2007 election, Mayor Ballard actually oversaw a police department force that shrank rather than grew in numbers as he signed into law a series of new taxes to benefit the billionaire sports team owners and the downtown convention business while diverting more than a half billion dollars to the TIF slush funds used to finance the private real estate development projects of his campaign contributors, mostly in the downtown area. Morale within the police department is reaching an all-time low under the leadership of one of the most unqualified and incompetent police chiefs ever to hold the position. As he now prepares to seek a third term as mayor next year, he suddenly has a "big announcement" to make on public safety this morning. Will the voters be fooled again?