David Roach Democrat Mayor
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The star of last night’s council meeting was a citizen, Phil Marx. It was a dose of reality after an evening of mud-wrestling.
What Mr. Marx vividly and dramatically detailed to council was a litany, a long-long litany, of the abuse he and his neighbors had long endured and against which they had fought and defeated in order to take back neighborhood from thugs. Mr. Marx read police statistics for just one street, his, that were simply amazing -knifings, screw-driver to the head, shootings, assaults, false 911 calls, battery, vandalism…jeez, Louise. The list went on and on and on to the discomfort of all members of council and everyone in the audience.
Then Marx, who led the fight against the gang-bangers and drug heads and thieves,handed out a bit of credit. Assistant Chief and councilman Marty Bender, he said, would make multiple stops and ever-so-slow patrols through his neighborhood on a daily basis to show the colors, to run off perps, to simply check to see if Mr. Marx and neighbors were still standing! Over a period of years Marx and others fought back and, as he noted last night, took back their neighborhood from the derelicts who had terrorized him and everyone else on the block. Marx then read his list of infractions from a more recent police cycle and it all came up goose-eggs. Apparently, closing one den of thieves, one house, changed the entire tenor of the neighborhood. Mr. Marx again gave praise to Marty Bender, lauded Chief Rusty York and all the officers who had taken time to ride down his street to just check and to show the colors.
Mr. Marx also voiced his appreciation to Council President Mitch Harper for starting the curative ball rolling by writing on Mr. Harper’sblog about the ongoing battle of neighbors vs. low-life. Mr. Marx, noticeably, did not express appreciation to his councilman on the east side during his recitation of the ordeal.
For Mr. Marx is was an empowering ordeal that he could well have done without. Few of us want to be harassed by young toughs with their hats on backward, tats climbing their arms, their pants sagging to their knees and uttering threats, especially while we are on a ladder cleaning gutters, as Mr. Marx recounted. Mr. Marx fought back and relentlessly demanded the city take notice. It was apparent from what he said and how Mr. Bender responded that the city took a very long time to take Mr. Marx at his word and then an even longer time to weed out the gutter-dwellers.
So, I hope Mr. Marx will make stay involved in government, in holding official feet to the fire and help other neighborhoods rid themselves of these poor, neglect young miscreants.
Mr. Marx would be a better nominee than most for our local “leaders” citizen of the year award.
Meanwhile, council distinguished itself in a fight over procedure, or, rather, make that two fights over procedure.