Jump to content
One problem that the proponents of a payment system never address is the amount of extra time it would take if each passenger had to pay 25 or 50 cents, or swipe a debit card, every time they got on the bus. The recent decision to eliminate the Mustang Run stop was made to cut mere seconds off the route. It did not eliminate any distance. (Fortunately it has been reinstated.) Has the editorial board thought about the time required to collect individual fares and the overhead and expense of administering such a system?
I find that the creeping Surveillance State already impairs my freedom of speech. There are webpages I won't go to, and words I would not put in an email or search engine. I could go to the library and get a guest ID number, but now there may be a picture of my car parked in the library lot, under the guise of a parking study.
There is an opposing argument that we willingly forego privacy for compensation. When I use my Club Card at City Market, I get reduced prices but I provide personal information in exchange. The fallacy with this logic is that the "Club Price" is actually the real price, If you wish to remain anonymous, you pay a penalty. This dynamic has so pervaded every aspect of society, that one can hardly function as a member thereof, and maintain any privacy at all, without paying a severe penalty in terms of time, money, and inconvenience. One day, you will wake up to find that we are indistinguishable from East Germany under the Stasi. Check out the movie "Other People's Lives" to get a taste of that.
How ironic that, in this age of privatization, it appears that privacy itself is being privatized.
I look forward to hearing other people's views on this.
The Big Brother aspects of this device are so egregious, it would give most people pause if it claimed to enhance national security, much less parking enforcement efficiency. I strongly urge readers to click on the link in the article, view the TED Talk (It's only about 5 minutes long), and see how you feel about this. When questioned by Council on the use of the data, Chief Rae responded, somewhat rhetorically, that if we didn't trust him, who can we trust? This is a good time to remind public officials and City staff that, in a representative Democracy, government is to be accountable to, and held accountable by, the citizens. It is not to be trusted! Does anybody really believe, in this day and age, that data disappears when it is deleted? Where else is this data being stored? This is NSA technology being passed down to local law enforcement. It wasn't invented to catch parking violators. Listening to staff discussing the effectiveness of this device is like listening to national figures discussing the use of torture in terms of whether it was effective rather than in terms of who we are as people. Sure, there are cities that use this. But there are also cities that have started using it and stopped, and cities that rejected it outright. Not only does this device record your plate number, it also takes a photo. Public Works Director Chuck Anderson was impressed not only that it recorded parked cars, but it also recorded cars travelling down the road. It could photograph you and your kids getting out of the car in your driveway.
I think that lowering the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 mph on Rt. 40 South, as far as the Walton Creek Road intersection, would make that whole stretch of road a lot safer. It is heavily traveled and traverses rolling terrain, with numerous traffic lights, ingresses and egresses. Combine that with our winter weather, and it's no surprise that police have to clean up the same types of accidents at the same locations year in and year out. I realize it's a Federal Highway and it often takes a tragedy to get the attention of a bureaucracy. Some years ago, drivers were more relaxed and courteous, but these days I witness excessive, yet unproductive, jockeying for position. At a recent bicycle conference in Steamboat, one of the consultants who spoke expressed dismay at the 45 mph speed limit, within the City boundary, as well.
I second Scott's comments. The problem is not pot. It's the hiring practices, compensation, and working conditions at the SST that need to be overhauled. That walk from Mustang Run to the Skyview Lane stop is indeed treacherous many mornings. It is a downhill stretch. It is plowed down to sheer ice and then further compressed by traffic. Also, the access from Walton Village to the Skyview Lane stop is via a user trail over snow and dirt. When it snows, and they plow the streets and parking lots, the trail has to be formed anew by foot traffic over the snowbanks. At night it is so dark that I carry a headlamp. The Skyview Apartments development, currently under construction, threatened to eliminate that path, but, surprisingly, it still exists. When it disappears, the Mustang Run stop would be the alternative. It is absolutely disgraceful that the City did this to save $100,000. Anyone who is paying attention knows how often this City administration wastes $100,000 and more.
Will the steering committee include any citizens who are not elected or appointed public officials or City staff?
I suggest that the Council needs to look more closely at the working conditions and the hiring practices. Also, the wages seem insufficient for people who are trusted not only to operate very expensive equipment but also to serve as ambassadors and a main point of contact for our visitors. One need not dig too deep to see that Council and staff can drop $100,000, in a heartbeat, on matters of questionable merit. This ski season will make for an interesting experiment. Meanwhile, we need to examine our values and our direction.
It may strike some people as "bullying", but the NYS Dems are merely stating the truth. Voting history is readily available from the County Clerk's office. Given the long, drawn out nature of campaigns, and all the misleading information voters must sift through, I find this simple, fact-based approach refreshing. If there's one thing more important for a functioning democracy than citizen participation, it's a fully informed electorate. The truth may be distasteful, but it's a good place to start if citizens expect to change anything.
Upon reading the sidebar on the left, I find it interesting that one Councilperson effusively praises the voter turnout while another disparages it and questions the validity of the results. In any election,It is incumbent upon the proponents of a ballot measure to turn out their supporters in sufficient numbers. In this instance they failed. The meaning of this vote is clear. The electorate has clearly rejected the proposal. If a Councilperson favors mandatory voting, as is done in some countries, that is a separate discussion. In pure election campaign strategy terms, proponents of a tax measure generally prefer low voter turnout, because uninformed and indifferent voters will tend to reject a tax increase or any change to the status quo for that matter.
Is it legal or ethical for the City Manager to opine in the newspaper on matters such as this?
When the City Manager, or one of our local reporters, for that matter, refers to "the City" (as in, "She said having a BID with a guaranteed funding source would have been a great thing for the city.") just exactly who, or what is she/he referring to, and what criteria is she/he using?
Last login: Friday, December 19, 2014
Contents of this site are © Copyright 2014 Steamboat Pilot & Today. All rights reserved.