By Phil Greazzo
Candidate for Ward 10 Alderman
Public service comes in many forms. Some serve in the military, some are teachers, police or firefighters. There are those who become city employees or undertake the monumental task of getting elected to public office, and still others who voluntarily do things in the best interest of their community - just because.
I'm the type who volunteers to do things, especially if I feel strongly about them. For instance, I'm a registered organ donor. I also used to be a frequent blood donor until this year, when the Red Cross added yet another disqualification. Anyone who lived in Germany during the 80's is now ineligable. I served in the U.S. Army there during that time.
I also volunteer in my community on a variety of projects. Since volunteering takes a lot longer to accomplish certain things, I've decided to take on the task of trying to get elected in order to achieve greater results. Not just for the things I would like to see get done, but for things others would like done as well. After all, that's what volunteering is all about, helping others.
Just as there are many forms of public service, there are even more forms of public safety. Public safety is more than having enough police officers and firefighters doing their jobs to combat crime or fire.
Our first responders plan for emergencies, but do you? We've all seen or read about the emergency drills and exercises the police and fire departments have from time to time. Residents should be just as prepared. If something ever did happen here, the city could erupt into chaos without an action plan that "everyone" is prepared to carry out.
Whether it was a natural or manmade disaster, hiding in the basement is only good for certain types of emergencies and can't be done for long. Waiting until there is an actual emergency to give people important information on where to go and what to do isn't a good plan. The city can and should do a better job of communicating with its citizens about where to go and what to do in case of an emergency.
Public safety is also about knowing where child predators and registered sex offenders live. It also includes protecting private information stored on city computers, including the names and addresses of our school children.
It's about reducing the speed of traffic in our neighborhoods; having usable sidewalks that everyone can use including the handicapped and the elderly; well marked crosswalks so children can get safely to school; working street lights to insure properly lit streets; and well placed traffic signs and well timed traffic lights to help prevent accidents like the ones that happen nearly every day at the corner of Varney and South Main Streets as a result of having an advanced green light rather than a turn arrow.
Even mosquitoes are a public safety issue. With the days of EEE and the West Nile Virus, the city should work to control their numbers before they hatch instead of spraying after they've hatched.
I'll work on these public safety issues and several others if elected. I've already been to most houses twice and sometimes three times, so I have a really good idea of what people in this neighborhood would like to see addressed. I'll be reaching out to residents year-round and not just during campaign season. I will be working every day to fix things and not waiting for people to have to call me.
In any election there are always those who choose to make baseless personal negative attacks rather than focusing on real issues. I refuse to participate in that style of campaigning and hope voters reject it as well. You can expect my type of public service to be the same way I've campaigned - constant and very positive.
I ask for your vote on Tuesday.