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What to do?

Discussion in 'House of Politics Lounge' started by SW85, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. SW85

    SW85 New Member

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    (I'm not big about fishing for advice on Internet forums, but as this is a rather odd problem, I feel it would take the collective input of a few smart political minds to come up with an inventive solution. Not to mention it's 2 in the morning and none of my friends are awake).

    On the outside I live in a pretty normal town: a rural-ish suburb of about 5000 that serves as a bedroom community to a nearby city of 60,000, itself an exurb of D.C. Overwhelmingly white, heterosexual, Protestant type place. I've lived here for eight relatively peaceful years -- the worst that's happened was the theft of the radio from my sister's car (which I suspect she may have lied about). I don't know if things have been changing recently or if I'm only just now becoming aware of them, but something's seemed different these last few months.

    There's a group of kids, about half a dozen maybe 10-12 years old, who've been playing just outside my house. They litter the damn place up, scream, set of fireworks, etc. They come inside our yard all the time to get footballs, shoes, shirts, etc., that for some reason they throw into our yard. They don't ask our permission. (We have dogs that bite). We've told them not to play there, that there's a park right down the street, and they refuse to use it.

    Someone egged my car. I have no enemies here, and no reason to be hated by strangers -- I'm as white, heterosexual, and Protestant as everyone else here.

    Every few nights there's a group of teenagers who stagger drunkenly down the sidewalk, screaming insults at passersby. (I've run afoul of them a few times).

    Loud muscle cars roar down the roads at midnight and later.

    There's dog poop everywhere. I mean everywhere. And this despite the signs that plaster the place announcing the $25,000 fine for not scooping dog poop.

    Kids ride bikes through the streets. There's this weird group of out-of-towners who come in late at night and loiter in the shopping center. If you drive through town, people on the sidewalk make eye contact with you and don't let go, like their animals challenging your domain.

    Our police department, a whopping four officers, was recently fired en masse in a big corruption scandal. The new batch of officers, like the ones before them, mostly spend their time staking out roads for speeders and are otherwise largely invisible.

    Now I am big on community -- but there's not an ounce of it in this soulless town. No one cares about anyone else. People are, frankly, just plain assholes, sometimes criminally so. (I was almost moved to tears a few weeks ago when my neighbor told me he followed a kid home who had seen snooping around my house at four in the morning). So what went wrong? What can be done to make this town not a ****hole? What can I do personally? I am sure other towns have faced similar problems and, because of the leadership of a few concerned citizens, managed to clean up their act. What do you guys recommend?
     
  2. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    If its a town of 5,000, and you want to make change. Do what I did and run for local office. Barring that, I would in the most polite manner possible talk to your neighbors. I live in a small town as well(2,500) and for the most part things are generally peaceful, but it seems in modern times people arent as neighborly anymore. I would simply talk to your neighbors and the children's parents if they are identifiable. But again, without politeness and a thick skin you wont get anywhere. Bring a peace offering if necessary.
     
  3. SW85

    SW85 New Member

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    I don't know that there's much I could do as a local official that I couldn't do as a normal, private citizen. (Not to mention I'm heading off to college here shortly, so it's not an option anyway).

    Anyone know if neighborhood watch programs have met with any success?
     
  4. ArmChair General

    ArmChair General New Member

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    Get a Gun.

    Its the American Way.
     
  5. SW85

    SW85 New Member

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    I live in Maryland. It's prohibitively difficult, expensive, and its use borderlines on the impractical. So not an option.

    But I like the way you think. ;)
     
  6. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    So there is not a local city council? How about a mayor? But hell if your leaving soon, just buy your time and move somewhere else when the time comes. But I went the way of running for office, not because I had bad neighbors but because I thought I had good idea policies and everyone told me to run. I lost the first time by 30 votes, but didnt get discouraged and won the next year.
     
  7. SW85

    SW85 New Member

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    No, there's both a mayor and a city council. (The mayor is actually widely hated and probably headed for defeat -- I'd have a good chance of unseating him in the primary if I were so inclined). But like I said, not much I could do as an elected official that I couldn't as a private citizen.

    Just curious, but do you still hold office? If so, which one (city council or mayor)? What's it like?
     
  8. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    Yeah I still do, I am on the council, no desire to be mayor as the one we have is quite good. It is interesting, most of it routine to the point of boredom. I am on the code committee, so I deal with how the laws are written, and that was my primary interest. Also working on the city budget was interesting. I only ran for a one year replacement seat as I wasnt sure what sort of committment I wanted to make and I am up for re-election in Oct. Not sure yet if I will run. I have done a fairly good job of not making enemies. But again it is a matter of having the willingness to commit the time. As there is nothing more frustrating as being apart of a body where one of the members isnt fully committed. Also it is nice to help people with thier problems, but also a pain sometimes in listening to rants. But we didnt raise taxes and didnt cut the budget. So all is well I guess. If you have more specific questions drop me a PM and I will answer gladly.
     
  9. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    That's what I was going to suggest. Wave that gun around a few times and you won't see those kids snooping around anymore.
     

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