Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Of Beauty Contests and Choppers

Subtitle: Whatever I can blab about for 20 minutes.

Today Missouri is holding a non binding primary and it's just the dumbest thing ever. Missouri got played, both by the republicans and the democrats. The democratic governor could have stopped the voting charade, but didn't. The republicans could have pulled the vote, but did not. We will spend $7 million on a vote that means nothing. Shoot, we can have pollsters do that for us, that is, find out everyone's preference. In about two months, we will be going to the polls to elect school board members--could have just as easily done it then (although caucuses will be March 17 so it would have been kind of silly then too. Silly but cheaper.) I'll admit, I did not waste my time with this vote.

Kansas City's police department wants to buy a new chopper to replace the bits and pieces that make up one workable 40+ year old bird. Now, a while back a sale tax for capital improvements was voted in, and I would be interested to know if this money is new money or old money, per the ordinance language it is something called the Police Grants Fund. Is this sales tax money? If so, I am cool with that, as the chopper is a great tool for catching bad guys and KC's helicopter is very old and parts are getting hard to find. If we want a copter, and I think we do, and we have money without having to raise revenue or create new taxes, I am all for it. I think this is money well spent. The helicopter crews have not just chased bad guys but helped fire and EMS track down crashes. They are invaluable in following cars from the air, making it less dangerous to catch fleeing felons. There are a lot of money spending proposals floating around city hall. This one, if it is out of an existing fund, is a solid use of money that is already around, and an investment that will pay off in the future.

Observer photo of the current Huey police chopper and one of the crew at an event last October.


Bob G. said...

That's a Hughes 500 "little bird" as we called them, and yes, they are getting a bit "long in the tooth".

I think with any decent size city (with at least several hundred thousand residents), it's wise to consider purchasing (or keeping) a helo for ALL the work it can be used for.

You ought to see what a NIGHTSUN can do to a city street after midnight...(night into day)

And they do pay for themselves, it just takes time, and patience is something a lot of citizens donl;t seem to have enough of.

Good post.

Stay safe out there.

Street said...

Yes, the new helicopter is being purchased with funds raised from the quarter-cent Public Safety Sales tax, which voters renewed last fall. The current Vietnam-era chopper is in desparate need of replacing.