Recently, a long-time co-worker was in my office expressing his relief that his 22-year-old son had survived an attack by a Taliban sniper in Afghanistan. Though he did have to be temporarily evacuated to Germany for medical treatment, he is back on active duty stateside.
Sadly, I found out today from the same co-worker that his 14-year-old son was seriously wounded after being caught in the crossfire of some gang members in downtown Orlando. Again, the family was blessed, and the boy has been released from the hospital. (Though the bullet still remains lodged in his shoulder and will have to be surgically removed at a later date.)
I couldn't believe it when I heard this news and began considering the impact on this family.
Then, I got mad.
How can it be that Mayor Buddy Dyer of Orlando can allow the city's crime problem to get so out of hand that our young people are in as much danger going to a convenience store to buy a soda as they are when deployed with the US military to the outskirts of Kabul?!
And, yet, the front page of today's local daily
proclaims the mayor's intention to proceed with his plans to spend over a billion dollars (yes, that is billion with a "b") on his pet "cultural corridor" project downtown.
Hey, Buddy, how about spending some of that cash on putting more cops on the steet?!?
In his world, it is more important to use taxpayer dollars to build a new arena for our local NBA franchise.
Hey, Buddy, in case you haven't noticed, the owner of the Magic is a billionaire!
In his world, it is more important to use taxpayer dollars to renovate the archaic Citrus Bowl.
Hey, Buddy, in case you haven't noticed, the University of Central Florida is already putting the final touches on a state-of the art stadium.
In his world, we need to use taxpayer dollars to build a new performing arts center downtown.
Hey, Buddy, if you don't do something about the crime rate downtown, you're never going to get any audiences to attend those performances.
In his world, money will continue to roll into municipal coffers to be spent on fluffy feel-good projects instead of the nuts-and-bolts services that citizens expect to receive in exchange for their tax burdens.
Hey, Buddy, in case you haven't noticed, the state legislature just slashed your future revenue streams.
Time to wake up and smell the coffee, Buddy.
Or, the smoking guns.
Take your pick.
Labels: Afghanistan, Buddy Dyer, Central Florida, crime, Orlando Sentinel, Taliban, taxes