Boomerang Safety

by John Washington on August 11, 2012

It takes some skill to wield a boomerang. You have to understand how it works and how to aim it.

You can’t be proficient just by watching a TV show about boomerangs. It takes practice and experience. And so it is with any skilled job. Practice – lots of practice – prepares you for the big time.

It is especially important to know how to CATCH the boomerang if you miss the target.

I have ten years of experience with Scottsdale city government as a neighborhood advocate and a volunteer public servant on commissions, boards, working groups, and a city task force. This is real experience you can’t get from watching a few city council meetings on CityCable Channel 11.

I will learn something every day as mayor, but I don’t need much on-the-job training to be effective right out of the gate.

For example, I know that while Scottsdale’s public safety employees have professional associations (as do many of the professions represented in city government), Scottsdale doesn’t have “evil labor unions.”

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That’s because Scottsdale has traditionally treated ALL of our employees with respect, including fair compensation so that other cities won’t hire them away. Our employees simply haven’t felt the need to negotiate their pay and benefits.

Public safety is such an integral part of life in Scottsdale that most of us don’t even give it a second thought. We are incredibly fortunate that we have the luxury of taking it for granted. However, being too cavalier about public safety could lead us to make unwise decisions that erode it.

It isn’t all about money. None of our public safety employees expected to get rich from working for the city. Most simply love their jobs, and they want to give the residents a good day’s work for a fair day’s pay…and of course, a little mutual respect.

It makes no sense to me that a want-to-be politician would seek an endorsement from an organization and then attack the members of the organization when he doesn’t get it, not to mention attacking the candidate who did.

Doing so is a reflection of lack of experience, as well as a lack of integrity; and the attack can come back to bite him.

In this case, “Public safety is the number one responsibility of the mayor,” rings a little hollow coming from someone who hates the cops so much that he’s happy Scottsdale is at the bottom of the barrel of public safety compensation among Valley cities.

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Further for the record, comments from this candidate to the effect that I have, “…taken money from labor unions…” are lies. I have never received even a single dollar from anyone other than individuals who share my love of Scottsdale. I’m proud to have their support, as I’m proud to have the endorsement of the Police Officers of Scottsdale.

If this fellow had any experience at all, he’d know that “independent expenditures” are legally beyond the control and influence of the candidate. For a candidate to “take money” from such a group would violate that independent status and it would be illegal.

Or maybe he does know these things and figures that a little dishonesty is OK if it gets him a job he so desperately wants.

Either way, would you trust a guy like that to lead your city for the next four years?

Watch out for the return of the boomerang!

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