Friday, December 13, 2013

County Republican wants city to pass legislation for drug-free zones

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 2:07 PM

This is the kind of thing that drives me crazy.

Tony Micciche, a Republican in the Monroe County Legislature, has submitted legislation at the county level calling on City Council  to  pass  a proposal to create drug-free zones  in the City of Rochester.
Adam McFadden. - FILE PHOTO
  • Adam McFadden.

The city legislation has been proposed by Council member Adam McFadden, chair of council’s Public Safety Committee. If approved, it would prohibit loitering in designated areas in the city for the purpose of selling drugs. The proposal is intended to combat the persistent problem of open-air drug markets in the city.

It’s not clear when or if McFadden’s legislation will make it to the full Council for a vote; questions have been raised about the measure’s constitutionality. But there’s a lot of upheaval happening in city government right now due to the impending arrival of a new administration, so it’s tough to predict what will happen with anything.

Micciche's legislation is a memorializing referral, which is essentially the way one government tells another, “We think you should do this.” It doesn’t, by itself, change anything.

It’s exciting to see that Monroe County government remembers that the City of Rochester exists, and part of Micciche’s district is in the city. But we’re talking about a government that systematically and gleefully suppresses the opposing party at every turn. Democratic proposals rarely make it out of committee and, what’s worse, Democrats are routinely deprived of even the most basic information they need to be effective representatives. (Many of the people those Democrats represent live in the city.)

Meanwhile, the Republican-led county continues to squeeze the city whenever and wherever it can: cutting day care subsidies for the low income, eliminating funding for the sheriff’s road patrol, implementing MCC chargebacks as well as new charges in the county’s 2014 budget, and the rest of it.

The day care subsidy cut is just the sort of shortsighted, budget-by-crisis thinking that contributes to problems like young people selling drugs on the street corner. Have we not yet learned that actions have consequences? 

And now a Republican county legislator wants to tell the city what it should do to fight its drug problem? It’s maddening. No thanks.

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