Tuesday 7 September 2010

Sam's re-election kick-off: knee jerk reaction

My initial reactions to Sam's kick-off, as portrayed in the Free Press:

First: Sam has a black sport coat? I've seen him wear mustard yellow, avocado green, The Joker purple ... but black? The stiff competition from Judy is really forcing him to up his game here.

Second: hiring more police officers is great and all, but unless you can explain how you're paying for them I remain skeptical. You're giving us the good news without the bad. "There are many avenues" for raising revenue. Ok, like ... ? When you're already selling sponsorship of city parkades, you're pretty much at the bottom of the barrel of revenue raising ideas.

Sam made the decision recently to push for a big fancy toy called a police helicopter. A tool with questionable benefits to justify the $3.5 m purchase cost and $1.3 m annual operating costs. That decision came at the expense of hiring more officers, as I see it. If he wants his chopper and 58 more cops and more dispatchers, there is no bloody way he will be able to keep his freeze on property taxes. I don't know how much more he can grovel out of other levels of government, given their own respective fiscal situations. So, Sam: when are you going to announce that you're raising taxes?

Third: He's creating a new anti-gang unit? We already have a gang unit. I know this because the Winnipeg Police web site makes reference to a "Winnipeg Police Gang Unit". So what exactly are you doing here? I would rather see more cops assigned to walk the streets and give more police presence to key areas of town, rather than containing them in a dedicated unit that may not be free to respond to general neighbourhood crime.

*edit: they have a video posted now. 20 of the 58 will be allocated to street service.


Christian Cassidy said...

It will be interesting, after having been in power all these years, to see if he can get the "law and order guy" label to stick.

AS we've seen from the past, the two dimensional statement 'hiring more police officers' has not had any significant impact on violent crime, in fact, the opposite has happened.

Still, people like simple solutions and "58 more cops" fits nicely on a button.

cherenkov said...

That's the tricky part about being the incumbent. You can make announcements and promises, but there is always that pesky record...

Anonymous said...

Sam's missing an important issue that would define him as Winnipeg's greatest Mayor...hopefully I can bring it to his attention when I knock on his door.


Anonymous said...

Cheren, sorry for the self promotion, hope its ok

cherenkov said...

No problem, Mr.N. Good luck in your quest. Maybe I could do an candidate interview and post it up here.

Anonymous said...

Sure Cheren, no problem, my phone number name the place and time.


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