For those of you who remember the TV show "The Twilight Zone," you might recall an episode called “It’s a Good Life” starring Bill Mumy. Mumy played the part of a 6-year child with special powers, who only wanted to be surrounded by people had “good thoughts.” If you had negative things to say, you would displease him and the boy would transport you to a cornfield or change you into a Jack in the box.
On Monday, the citizens of DeKalb got their own taste of the Twilight Zone when DeKalb police chief Gene Lowery made his presentation on his harsh revenue-generating parking ban ordinance at the DeKalb City Council meeting. Mr. Lowery announced he wants to fast-track this ordinance, limiting citizen input. In his presentation, he took to the podium to criticize DeKalb citizens who come forward to City Council who disagree with his opinions.
To quote Chief Lowery: “ I want you to hear everyone’s voice. Not the voices of the few that walk up to this podium, and day in and day out, or week in and week out, have nothing but negative things to say.”
Really, chief? You are telling the citizens of the community to only to come forward if they have nice things to say. This marks the second major PR nightmare Mr. Lowery has embroiled himself in, since he tried to quash the right for citizens to protest in 2014.
Sadly, DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith failed to respond to this attempt by the chief to marginalize citizens who come forward to voice their concerns. Apparently, Chief Lowery did not learn from his 2014 PR debacle. The citizens of this community support our men and women in blue, but support will start to diminish for the man who leads our police department with actions like this from our police chief.
Chief, here’s a “good thought” for you, please encourage open dialog between staff, the City Council and the citizens of our community. Let’s return from the Twilight Zone.