Council Priorities are Upside Down

Our City Council has been skimping on police protection, attempting to economize on the level of police services that it purchases from the Orange County Sheriff Department. Sadly, our Council has long been in denial (no, that's not a river in Egypt). Their emphasis has been on “feel-good projects” -- skate parks, services to illegal immigrants (The Sanctuary City program), Open Space schemes, “affordable” housing, a huge water fiasco, etc. The basic responsibility of local government, which is to suppress crime and facilitate traffic, has been largely sidetracked in favor of sexy, socialist programs inspired by the wildly liberal leadership of Washington and Sacramento.

Now it has all come home to roost. Last month Sacramento determined that our town has a crime problem. State officials found that our city was in the worst 24 of 36 California cities plagued with gangs and related crime. Now we’re the Santa Ana of South Orange County. As public recognition of this honor, Sacramento has awarded San Juan a $382,000 grant to fight gangs. Are we supposed to be proud of this? Of course not!

Our City Council sets the level of crime and gangs in the community by virtue of the fact that it determines the level of police services that it will purchase from the County of Orange. For example, will there be only six deputies (allowing a high crime environment) or will the Council contract for 26 deputies – as a major crime suppression? It’s an economic policy decision. Where to put the bucks? Suppress gangs and crime or offer social feel-good programs? Our Council has favored the latter. Wrong policy, we believe.

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