Well be over the summer real soon, and were still stuck in first gear.
-- Macon City Councilman Frank Tompkins
Councilman Tompkins statement was out of frustration. This is his first go-round on council and hes unaccustomed to the snail-like pace of the legislative body. He was asking the city attorney if there was a procedure to get a stalled proposal before full council and skip over the committee process. There is a way, but even that takes a lot of time and effort.
Tompkins would like to see a youth intervention coordinator position (a far cry from the six officers the mayor and police chief asked for a year ago) filled ASAP. However, Council Appropriations Chairman Tom Ellington wants to wait to fund it in next years budget that begins July 1.
Both councilmen have a point. Tompkins wants to get someone in place before summer is over to address children who are out of school. Ellington sees theres no need to rush an anemic response to teenage violence that has already been batted around the horseshoe since last year.
The Macon Police Department is doing what it can by stepping up enforcement of curfew regulations during summer months. Thats when out-of-school youth wander the streets late into the night and early morning. Some parents will get upset with this increased attention because parents, not the child, will be issued the citations. At least the department is doing something while council continues to fiddle.
-- Charles E. Richardson, for the Editorial Board