Saturday, September 06, 2003

Another Attempted Break-In
Just got a call from the former owner of the Old Slave House. Yet another group of stoned idiots attempted to break into the Old Slave House in the wee hours before dawn Thursday morning. Mr. Sisk had run off a group riding four-wheelers Wednesday evening and hadn't slept well. Between 3 and 4 a.m. he heard his dog bark, "his bark that something's wrong." After getting up and going outside he saw a truck drive up the railroad bed and park. As he got in his car and started down the hill he met the trio coming up. They took off to their truck, but he managed to block their exit. They attempted to flee, but a warning shot over their heads sobered them up enough to stop. The story continues, but I'll stop here.

Okay folks, if anyone is keeping score that's two attempted break-ins this past week, and one last week that resulted in property damage. Does anyone think that site security isn't a problem? Gallatin County, like the rest of the region, has a growing meth problem, a rash of break-ins, a small sheriff's department and, apparently, a state's attorney who thinks everybody deserves a second chance. None of this bodes well for the site.

The responsibility for this site rests with the chief executive officer of state government, Gov. Rod Blagojevich. It's not a local problem. It's not a regional problem. It's a state problem that needs to be addressed. The governor's staff screwed up on their first attempt on look at the issue. It's only been a few weeks, but with three break-ins since their bad decision in mid-August, it's time to rethink their position.

Somebody told me they'd heard criticism that we were (I was) trying to make this a partisan issue. Come on! I really don't think the governor is so dumb to make it a Democratic Party platform plank to deny job creation in economically depressed counties and to whitewash African-American history. Granted, if that is the case I'm sure the GOP would gladly decide to do the opposite. This isn't partisan politics. This is bureaucratic wrangling gone awry. The governor's office is developing a reputation for ignoring agency recommendations and going their own way on issues. Why can't they do that on this issue? This is one that works.

More Publicity
Maybe the governor will read a copy of state Rep. Lou Jones' fall newsletter. Jones is one of the assistant House Majority Leaders on the Democratic side and a leader in the Legislative Black Caucus. I haven't seen the article, but one of the House Democratic staffers called this week and I sent him some pictures. Jones visited the house back in 1997 and has been a strong supporter ever since.