Pointing fingers while Rome burns
Governor Pawlenty announced yesterday that he was getting "involved" in trying to resolve the growing crime issue in Minneapolis.
Mayor Ryback (in televised comments) said that the "most responsible" thing that the Governor could do was to restore the Local Government Aid money that was cut by the state in the last budget. Then, he said, we can hire more cops. This from the man who two weeks ago (after the senseless murder of Michael Zebuhr) said that more cops on the street was not the solution - but more on that later. I would like to know WHY the City of Minneapolis is not funding essential solutions (like police) in it's regular budget! With a $1.24 billion budget, why aren't there more cops on the street? Why are things like Neighborhood Revitalization Programs funded out of the General Budget instead of police protection? Why is Community Planning getting twice as many budget dollars as the police department? Community Planning and NRP should be what is funded out of the LGA dollars, not the police department!
The Star Tribune opines today that the problem is that people don't feel safe downtown. Here is a tip for the denizens of the Ivory Tower on Portland Avenue....people don't feel safe downtown because they AREN'T safe downtown! Yes getting rid of the "fear and intimidation" subculture that roams the streets of Minneapolis at night will make things safer in the area, but what is going to take care of that is MORE COPS ON THE STREET! If the cops are around, these kids are not going to be as quick to start fights with their rival gangs!
UPDATE AND BUMP: MDE points out to us that while crying poor, the City of Minneapolis managed to find $1.7 million for a "green" garden on the roof of City Hall! Now it may be (as some claim) that the roof would need to be repaired anyway, but it seems to me that roof repair would be a much better use of LGA funds - as opposed to paying police officers salaries. But that's just me.