The first item - violence in our city? Crime in Bessemer - there has been at least one more murder in Bessemer since I posted that. Christopher Ward was killed on August 7.
The other night at the candidates forum the candidates were asked what the most important issue to the city Bessemer is. The answers varied: "Perception," said Darayl Blue (with a positive reaction from the audience); Ed May agreed.
In Ed May's eyes, that's all crime is, perception. See this column from the Western Tribune, June 10, 2009.
I know a victim of violent crime in Bessemer. It was not perception that his front door was busted in. It was not perception that he was knocked around. It was not perception that he was forced at gunpoint and told he was going to die.
Crime is a reality in Bessemer.
Ken Gulley was the only candidate to look the citizens in the eye and unabashedly tell them that the number one issue in the city is crime.
Do away with crime, and perception will improve. Do away with crime, and home sales will increase. Do away with crime, and children will have a better environment in which to learn. Do away with crime, and businesses will want to locate here. Do away with crime, and the citizens will spend time outdoors, will get to know their neighbors, will not be reluctant to work in their yards.
Do away with crime, and our quality of life will improve.
I'm no fool, however, and I don't think we will ever completely do away with crime.
But it certainly is not going to improve until we have a mayor that recognizes it as a problem.
Just one more reason that Ken Gulley should be our next mayor.