Todd Paris, Staff Writer and Salisbury Attorney
♦ Reeling from the recent RFP report that the city government can not even conduct a meeting to force local landlords to do the City’s crime fighting job for them without the landlords and Maggie Blackwell being criminally victimized, suddenly Salisbury buzzes fitfully like a fly drowning in the “well slide” of national attention.
Now vying for “America’s Worst City” in both “People Magazine’s” online crime edition and “Huffington Post”, these two journals brought the City of Salisbury international media attention for the tragic unsolved murder of 7 year old A’yanna Allen who died with twenty gunshot wounds in her grandmother’s bed last December. There are now 16 other unsolved murders.
The policy decisions by Mayor Karen Alexander and Council Members Maggie Blackwell and Brian Miller to financially starve the Salisbury Police Department in favor of supporting the ill-advised the city government owned broadband network, “Fibrant” at the expense of crime control and public safety led to the harvest of deadly fruit, rampant crime, and almost indescribable mayhem visited upon Salisbury’s citizens. Now Salisbury is drowning in a bottomless lake of negative publicity.
Due to the City’s ten thousand dollar per day Fibrant deficit and now the six thousand , seven hundred dollar per day Fibrant deficit, the Salisbury Police Department is now 19 officers down and barely able to answer 911 calls. The Chief of Police begged for help from county, state, and federal authorities. Almost every night, gun shots can be heard as the war rages throughout the city.
To those persons who comfort themselves in the false security that these things only happen to “those people”, recent armed invasions at Catawba College, the elite golf community at Corbin Hills, and gunshots that have rang out on Confederate Avenue, now reinforce that all our citizens and tax-payers of Salisbury are now “in the same boat.”
City Council Members Maggie Blackwell and Brian Miller had over five years to increase property taxes, sell Fibrant or do what is necessary to rebuild the diminished Salisbury Police Department, however they failed to do so. Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander had almost as much time.
Salisbury’s Police Department is now nineteen officers down with more retirements scheduled this year. The city’s solution is an ordinance that forces landlords to evict persons deemed disruptive instead of properly funding their police department.
Morale is so low that most officers have applied to other police departments.
Loopy PR stunts like applications for special awards and erection of “clown signs” extolling our pretended virtues, rebranding efforts with purloined unoriginal slogans, and City Police Ice Cream trucks have failed. Salisbury’s minority communities; tired of being mislead and lied to, are beyond incensed.
It is time for Salisbury’s few remaining wealthy to step back and surrender the control of this city to skilled and intelligent leadership that may be able to save our once significant municipality.
I call on Karen Alexander, Maggie Blackwell, and Brian Miller to immediately resign from Salisbury City Council and allow David Post and Kenney Hardin begin the impossible task of fixing Salisbury. We long passed the “tipping point.” Next stop? A full Ferguson?
We are all “in the same boat.” These three alleged city council persons are no longer qualified to lead what’s left of the City of Salisbury. We can’t wait until November. If you truly care anything about this town, resign now.