Speakout 7/17

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I just want to say thanks to Margaret and David Russell for putting on the best fireworks show we have ever had in Blodgett. Thanks again from a Blodgett resident.

All the yellow dogs are upset about the president commuting the sentence against Libby. Where was their indignation when Clinton, Slick Willy, pardoning terrorists, drug dealers and political cronies? Amazingly, he even traded pardons for contributions to his presidential library. How about using a little common sense when viewing the Libby decision? Wake up, people!

I was calling about the cameras they have here in Sikeston, the new equipment, the robots. I want to know if we were notified of this, if the city of Sikeston residents had to pay for it. The cameras, the robots, the tinted window machine they bought, who's paying for this? Why do we need this. To me this makes no sense. Maybe you can enlighten us.

The bomb team grant is a partnership between four cities; Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Poplar Bluff and Sikeston. The original grant was for $1.3 Million and the robot cost was $197,490.00. The grant dollars were part of the State of Missouri's homeland security initiative, in which, federal dollars are sent to the state and then utilized within local jurisdictions in the State of Missouri. The Missouri Highway Patrol supported the bomb grant program as a means for a more rapid response to bomb alerts through a regionalization of the equipment and trained personnel. The cameras are being paid for by a Department of Justice Grant through the COPS program for "Secure Our Schools. " This is a partnership between the City of Sikeston and Sikeston Public Schools. We have received two of these grants in the amount of $ 50,000 per grant. The Sikeston housing authority has also supported the camera program and has provided $ 70,000 towards enhancing the safety and security of their properties through the installation of cameras. In addition, the City of Sikeston received funding from a homeland security grant to fence the airport and install two cameras to monitor airport activities. To date we have spent $241,991.00 on the camera system. The tint meter for determining violations of vehicle windows was provided to the City, free of charge by the Highway Patrol. The Sikeston City Council and Public Safety Advisory Board held a number of posted public meetings to discuss the bomb grant and the camera program. The Sikeston Housing Authority and Board of Education, likewise, conducted public meetings regarding their involvement. A quick review of the city's scrapbook of newspaper clippings finds no less than ten (10) articles involving the bomb team and camera programs that have been printed. Should you need additional information, do not hesitate in contacting Doug Friend, city manager at 471-2174 or Public Safety Director Drew Juden at 471-6200.

I see where Charleston is revisiting their sagging fence dress code policy. Just enforce what's already there. That goes ditto across the board for Charleston. The school board needs to be aware that the school system is heading down a path of no return. The destruction will soon be irreversible, if it's not already. So wake up Charleston, wake up school board, and do the job necessary. Or you're going to find yourself in a school system in which no caring or decent parent ever wants their child to attend.