Anarchy can be defined as a state of society without government or law. I am not in favor of lawlessness. To be sure, I am for a limited government, and generally oppose growth of government. However, we need some basic government functioning in order to protect our individual rights.
We need police to protect us from law breakers who do not respect our rights. We also need a military to defend our nation from certain threats to our society.
Sunnyside is in a state of crisis due to out of control gangs, drug pushers, and other criminals. Many of these gangs think that guns like those pictured above are cool. They are trying desperately to obtain them, and use them. This is a disturbing trend in our local gang culture. Sunnyside is subjected to shooting incidents almost every weekend now. These incidents are not related to law abiding gun lovers who purchase firearms for sport or self-defense. The guns are being used to deprive others of their rights, by some really bad people.
It is past time to retake our city. On Tuesday night the police department hosted a meeting for landlords, to discuss a draft version of a proposed “crime free housing” ordinance.
The proposed ordinance would provide a mechanism to have landlords execute an emergency style eviction of tenants within three business days of being notified by police that they have gang or drug activity going on in a rental space. Landlords who do not comply with the ordinance could be subjected to fines or other penalties.
The ordinance would provide for mandatory training of landlords and/or their agents on crime prevention, and city ordinances related to rental properties. The police would provide this training free of charge.
In addition, tenants would need to have a local police records check completed before they can sign a lease agreement within city limits. Again, there would not be a charge for the police to conduct this service under the draft being discussed at the meeting.
The intent is to weed out gangs and drugs that are at the center of many issues the city is confronting at this time.
With bullets flying through town, it is necessary to take additional actions to protect the safety of the citizens. One gentleman asked me if I thought the expansion of government could be a good thing. I suppose when people are dying in the streets, then yes, it can be a good thing.
He also asked if I would support such an ordinance if President Obama had written it. Yes, I would. It does not matter who wrote it. The substance is what’s important. Everyone has a right to be safe. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are being denied by an out of control criminal element. This proposed ordinance is just one tool that can be added to the community kit bag.
My thanks go out to the Sunnyside Police Department, Assistant Chief Phil Schenck who led discussion at the meeting, Chief Radder, Mayor Restucci, and Council Members Gehlen and Farmer for attending this meeting. Thanks also to all the landlords and other citizens who showed up, asked questions, and offered suggestions to make the ordinance better. My apologies to any officials who I have failed to mention in this post. It is great to see such a great team effort across a wide range of community stakeholders.
The ordinance will be undergoing review by the city’s legal firm soon. Afterwards, it will be put on the agenda for the City Council. Like all proposed ordinances, multiple readings would need to be done before the ordinance can be formally adopted.