Readers comments 9-14-18
Tuesday night, the city council approved the purchase of 14 new police cruisers at a cost of more than $500,000. Their unanimous decision was not based on rational economic analysis, but rather fear and the mere fact that the purchase was already in the city’s budget (because if it’s in the budget, clearly the city is living within its means).
The argument for replacing the entire fleet was based on some Police Best Practices document that basically seems to advocate for spending local municipalities into the financial abyss. Not a single piece of financial data on actual or projected maintenance costs was presented, or requested by anyone on the council, to support the purchase at this time. Instead, every councilmember justified their yes vote based on fear and the notion that if they spend enough money, they can eliminate all risk.
Most people would agree that it’s probably not the best strategy to buy three new cars for the family right before applying for a mortgage to buy a new house. As the chair of the new Police Station Citizen’s Advisory Committee, this decision has made the committee’s goal just that much harder to achieve.
Whatever our final recommendation ends up being to the city, our ability to convince those who voted against Measure SC to vote yes next time gets more difficult every time the council prioritizes large expenditures on something other than a new police facility.
If the city council isn’t going to make building a new police facility a priority, why should the community?
I feel that Claremont’s overnight parking rule is unfair and inconvenient. But before I start discussing why, let me tell you a story.
My cousin was planning to stay at my house from mid-June to the beginning of August to help my dad with work. We didn’t have enough room in our driveway for her car, so we parked it on the street and called it in to the Claremont Police Department. Since we can only call each car in for three nights a month, we had to park each of the three cars on the street every three nights. It was annoying, but it wasn’t horrible.
We made it through June without any tickets, but in July we had to get creative. We survived the first nine nights without any problems, but once we ran out of nights, we needed to find a place to park.
We found an alleyway a little distance away but despite the benefit of a little exercise it became very annoying to have to walk a block just to get our car. Nobody should have to pay a fee just to have visitors for more than three nights. That story is one reason why I think the rule doesn’t make sense.
Before I go onto my next reason, I am going to review the purpose that the Claremont Police Department has for putting up this rule. They put up the rule because they think it helps them fight crime, detect abandoned cars and keep the streets clean and looking nice. I find those very poor arguments.
For one, I don’t think that a car parking overnight on the street has anything to do with a street looking clean or nice. Of course, it’s fine to have no trash on the street but what do cars parking on it overnight have to do with cleanliness?
Second, whether or not there is a rule, not that many people would park their cars on the street overnight. Everyone will have most likely put their cars into their garages and have gone to bed. So why do we have to not have our cars on the street in the first place? Why does the street have to be clear during the night but not during the day to detect abandoned cars?
Third if you are chasing a criminal, whether on foot or in a police car, criminals could hide behind cars to escape. But wouldn’t a flashlight, searchlight or streetlight be able to help you see as if it were daytime? That is why I think Claremont shouldn’t have the overnight parking rule.
Claremont (age 14)
Home away from home
I recalled the first Thanksgiving break that I celebrated with Judy and her family members last year. She is my first-year language partner, who was randomly assigned to me at the very beginning of my first year at Claremont McKenna College.
We met up every week and she invited me to join her family for Thanksgiving dinner. I am really grateful for her offer. I visited her house, got to know her sweet family, and enjoyed my first Thanksgiving meal a lot. They not only invited me but other family friends.
The sense of belonging and kindness they gave me drives me to want to make it available for more students at Claremont Colleges as an international student.
I know there are lots of international students on campus and most of them won’t go back home for the Thanksgiving break. So based on my own fantastic experience, I hope some of the local families can offer Thanksgiving dinner or lunch for international students who would like to stay on campus and enjoy the festive mood together.
There might be a little bit of awkwardness if the family and the student don’t know each other. If possible, it can be a celebration with more than one student or a group celebration on the day before or after Thanksgiving.
I hope everyone will have a place to gather around and enjoy the Thanksgiving vibe!