Friday, September 23, 2011

Beat Meeting

We had 3 beats at the Sector Meeting; 2422, 2423 and 2424.  The discussion was focused on the recent shootings, student behavior, and gang activity.  The next meeting is on Oct 27 at the Chicago Math and Science Academy at 6 PM.

Biggest takeaway for me; health care professionals have identified specific buildings they will no longer visit due to safety issues.  This includes a building at 7500 N Hoyne, which is affiliated with Anixter Center.  The straw that broke the camel's back was the beating death of a disabled client.  Michael Land was present at the meeting on the Alderman's behalf so he got to hear the whole thing, and the health care representative made a point to go and talk to him.  On top of that, I heard about a building at Pratt and Ashland, which the health care rep knew about, that is evidently a troubled building and is also on their list of places to NOT visit.

Message to the Alderman; Rogers Park has enough problems as it is.  Vulnerable citizens should not have to worry about losing access to health care because the providers have determined that neighborhoods in the community are unsafe and they can no longer risk their personal safety to provide services.  Obamacare will not fix that problem.  Closing troubled buildings is a better solution.

The issue about jet ski launches off of Jarvis Beach did not come up in the main meeting, but the great thing about community meetings is the opportunity to catch up on all the trash talk being bandied about.  Who knew that someone out there thinks I am a 'woman scorned' by Mr. Jet Ski and his friends?  Based on the comments to my earlier posts these are not folks I would be spending much time with.

I learned the Alderman's office is apparently unclear about the Chicago Park District Code and, in my opinion, is in no particular hurry to get fully educated.  In the previous post I listed the details of Chapter VIII, which are in plain English, but the Alderman's office wants the Park's legal eagles to translate the document.  That is an interesting approach since I also learned that Mr. Jet Ski knows he is flaunting the law and believes he is 'untouchable', largely because the Park District does not have its own police force and the local constabulary is otherwise occupied.  How can a law be the law when no one enforces it?  That pretty much opens the door for those who share his cavalier approach.

I was asked why I care about this issue.  Simple.  This is a public safety issue in terms of having jet skis and swimmers in close proximity to each other.  It is also becoming a revenue issue, since the Park District is being deprived of fees (and fines) it would otherwise collect if Mr. Jet Ski followed the law or was otherwise held accountable for violating it.  Mr. President is stressing 'fairness' with the Internal Revenue Code, but that concept extends all the way to local fees.  There is nothing fair about dodging the launch fees because no one is forcing you to comply.  'Responsible adults' do the right thing because they are responsible, not because an enforcer is standing over them.

The official boating season ends on Halloween and resumes on May Day in 2012.  Let us all hope that the 'respectable', 'responsible adults', close this season (or operate in the next one) without inflicting injury on some 'overzealous swimmers' who didn't get out of the way as the jet ski(s) were being piloted out to the lake.  All it will take is one, just one, accident and the vultures will descend.  That is one PR nightmare the Park District, the Police Department, and the Alderman's office, should strive to avoid.  Unless of course they enjoy the withing glare of video camera lights and explaining why Mr. Jet Ski and his friends were not required to follow the same rules and regulations governing boats and bathing beaches as everyone else.  I wonder how many commas would be in the settlement figure?

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