Tuesday, March 22, 2011

By Decree Of The King

MANIPULATION or as we like to call it-lying- is a very popular practice here in Salisbury. Yes peasants, Holierthanthou and I have caught our Mayor, King James, trying to deceive the citizens yet again. But while most crooked monarchs have the foresight to spread out their evil schemes into multiple press releases, Jim isn't quite that clever.

In the very same letter we took issue with last week, his highness blames the ridiculously high crime rate on the city's lack of available resources. According to Jim, 4 code enforcement officers managed to log 10,000 violations within a 1 year period. Now, we admit that these numbers are initially shocking, but after a little bit of fact-checking on those estimates we came up with some rather upsetting numbers of our own:

Peasants, did you know that out of the 10,000 code violations Jim is talking about, 17% were written for exterior housing, 18% were for rubbish, and 37% were for tall grass/weeds in the side walk? Yep, it's true. And do you know what that means? It means that 72% of the 10,000 code violations our king is correlating to crime are based on aesthetics alone.

Remind us Sire, what do weeds in the sidewalk have to do with drug dealers? Are the rapists hiding in the tall grass? Because we really don't see a connection. It looks an awful lot like you are taking completely irrelevant code violations, purposely confusing them with verified calls for service, and then passing them off as a drain on resources in order to validate kicking renters out of the city. And that, people of Salisbury, is f'ed up.


SAM I AM said...

Jim is more of an emperor, because the Emperor has no clothes.

Anonymous said...

The connection is: urban blight (i.e. weeds and such, rotting/falling down houses, trash and litter all around...)means that the residents do not care about their neighborhood. If residents do not care about their neighborhood, they are less likely to get involved and/or report when crime happens. Therefore, urban blight is an open invitation to criminals, effectively letting them know that they have free reign.

With that being said, I agree that some of the write-ups are silly. But they have a basis in reality, as discussed above. (and they make a lot of money for the city...)

I was told about your blog a couple days ago and I must say, I'm glad the students are finally speaking out. You've put up some food for thought regarding city/student/permanent resident/police/college relations, please continue with it!

BlackSheba said...

We agree...we just don't see why the renters should get punished for what all residents are doing. Thanks for your input!!

Anonymous said...

hahahaha, "are the rapists hiding in the tall grasses?" This just made my day. I wonder if it isn't possible to cut a line between this post and what anon 10:17 said. I tend to think that the idea that "urban blight is an open invitation to criminals" is a bit misconstrued. It seems, if anything, more a symptom of that activity than an invitation to partake in it.

Would its opposite be true? If we could fine so many people that houses were flawless, grasses neatly manicured and yards, sidewalks (and hopefully the banks of the Wicomico river)were clear of trash, would crime actually decrease? My guess is maybe, but not by too much. Drug dealers like a clean house, yard and community as much as anyone. Thieves like a kept exterior only because of the value that it represents internally. What neither like are police officers actually patrolling and getting to know both home owners and tenants.

So while it seems that these citations are good, they are actually a pretty deceptive band-aid. And I certainly hope that we don't give them out because they raise money for the city. The violation that people are being charged with, essentially neglecting the community, is no greater an offense in better or worse economic times (in terms of the city budget).

I think anon 10:17 is right that the problem might be a lack of care, but care isn't something you can fine into existence. At least not as a long term solution. Anyhow, hope to see more posts and comments of such high quality. The city and all of us who live here are counting on it.

BlackSheba said...

Thank you Anon 11:51. We appreciate the thought that went into that...and we completely agree with it. Keep posting! And have a great day.