With a title like “I don’t understand,” this blog could be about practically anything in my life (especially women). However, that’s a topic I don’t feel particularly safe navigating at this time. Actually, it concerns a story I saw on WMC-TV’s website. It seems that people are attacking Memphis Light Gas & Water workers. They’re getting beaten, robbed, their trucks are being stolen. And I have to say, I don’t get it.
Let’s look at what we know. They don’t carry cash. They’re instructed not to wear jewelry on the job. There aren’t any fancy electronics in their trucks. There probably isn’t much of an aftermarket for service trucks with an MLGW logo stamped on both door. Even if you’ve got a beef with the utility, there still doesn’t seem to be much reason to threaten individuals who are just doing their jobs. One of the incidents profiled in the Action News 5 story says the MLGW guy was going to a house to turn the power back on… That’s on, not off.
The people you actually see on the street are the ones that come out in the dead of night or during snowstorms to get us all back online when something happens to knock out power out. It would seem like you’d want to cut those kind of people a break. At this point, some MLGW workers are refusing to go to certain places alone. So, the actions of some of the city’s knuckleheads are going to make getting utility service in some neighborhoods as tough as getting Dominos to deliver there. Nice.
I’m not going to go on a “Memphis is riddled with crime” rant. I’m also not going to criticize the work the Memphis Police are doing. I’m laying this one at the very large feet of the former mayor. I know he made a point of saying that as mayor, there was very little he could do about crime in the city. To me, that was one more reason he probably should have left the 7th floor of City Hall a few years sooner than he did.
As superintendent of schools, he should have done more to make sure Memphis children had the best education possible. I know how important it is that parents play a role in their children’s education, but it is possible to help kids when their parents don’t want to (or know how). Are there concrete accomplishments to point to (besides the increased layers of bureaucracy) from his time as Top Teacher?
And as mayor, don’t you have a responsibility to bring jobs, jobs and more jobs to the city, to give your less-well-off citizens fewer reasons to turn to crime? And again, it’s not about white collar or tech jobs. Tailor the type of employment you bring to the type of unemployment you have. If you’ve got large, underemployed clusters of people — that’s where the jobs should go! Not to the clusters of devoted functionaries you’re trying to help get a big payday before you leave office… Geez, I thought I was done with this guy.