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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Specificity, please

Frankly, this one threw me for a loop.

Ceppa running for W-B mayor, controller spots

More specifically…

She said specifically that she would work to improve the condition of the city’s roads, to improve the response time of the city’s police department, and to establish a website where residents could submit information about problems and other issues in the city.

Uh, I’ve fired-off countless emails to various city officials during the past few years, and I have always received a reply in a day or two. And sometimes the reply even came by way of a follow-up phone call.

Try this: Wilkes-Barre City 'contact page'

I really hate to single out any one candidate at this early juncture, but feel-good generalities feel good until the fast-increasing harsh realities of life lurch up and eviscerate them.

We all want the roads paved, patched or reworked completely, but state and federal funds are drying up faster than the treasury can print them. The trickle-down faucet of Fedrule Govmint control of every aspect of our lives has run itself dry. And as far as improving the response times of the police department is concerned, while that’s something we should always be striving for, I fail to see how a civilian can instantly enhance law enforcement to any discernible degree.

Perhaps we just need plenty more specifics from the candidates. Or as one of our visitors to this site said…”WB has improved, but maybe someone does have better ideas, although I agree with you.......WHAT ARE THE IDEAS?”

So far, we’re getting a steady diet of regurgitated generalities: I’ll fix the neighborhoods. I’ll pave the streets. I'll replace a sign. I’ll improve the policing. Really? How?

And while every candidate would certainly love to be endorsed by the unions involved, did you happen to notice that not one of the candidates has promised to add to, improve, bolster or boost the capabilities of our fire department? Why would that be? I thought that was a hot-button issue in this city…the streamlined fire department. Or as the firefighters would likely call it, the understaffed fire department.

My guess would be that the candidates probably suspect that what the current mayor has said all along is true, that the finances allow for the fire department in it’s current form, and that’s that. Otherwise, they’d be spouting off about adding new hires, new apparatus, new firehouses or other cost-prohibitive things such as those.

Sorry candidates, but vagaries aren’t going to cut it, unless we’re all in for a localized version of the biggest disaster since Chernobyl…the hollow and useless rhetoric that was Hope & Change. You can't eat or power a vehicle with hope. And making a change for the sake of change is often a fool's errand.

Look, we’ve come a long way as a city since January 2004, and I do not want to see the city backsliding it’s way towards insignificance all over again. If Tom Leighton were to be defeated during this election cycle, that’s all well and good provided that we replace him with a more than capable replacement.

I am not related to him. I seek nothing from him in exchange for my support of him. I have no man-crush on him. And I would not book a cruise of the coast of Somalia if he were to be relegated to the political graveyard. But if he were to have to relinquish the keys to City Hall anytime soon, I would want to feel supremely confident that his ultimate successor would be able to build upon his many successes.

And so far, in my mind, that person has yet to emerge. In reiteration, “WHAT ARE THE IDEAS?”

And please, if it's at all possible, be specific. If what you seek is votes by the boatload, let's get specific. As we should all know by now, the Devil is often hidden in the details.


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