* When I went back to the June 26 council meeting to check on Hopkin’s $75,000 lie, I verified that Chris Ballentine (pictured left) was absent from that meeting. So in that meeting and Monday’s committee meeting, both where Hopkins was presenting his $112 million dollar proposal, Ballentine, the financial chair of council, was absent. This is unacceptable unless he is on his death bed.
LET’S BUY THEM
$1 MILLION IN NEW CAMERAS!
The below transcript is from Monday’s city council committee meeting where Patrick Hopkins was talking about his $112 million dollar bond proposal and 16 pages of projects and he threw in this gem (click here). I will have so much more to say about this and a $75,000 dollar lie Patrick got caught in at the last city council meeting tomorrow.
The last one [project on the page] is the Community Safety Coalition camera purchase. We’ve put this in at $1 million dollars.
As you know in the 2009 to 2010 time period the Safety Coalition camera system was expanded dramatically. The cameras that are there now are getting – running up on – 10 years. They were analog cameras which present some difficulties in terms of the quality of the picture on the camera. Just the life of those cameras also is coming to an end.
The Safety Coalition has over the last several years had fits and starts of trying to do capital funding for that particular project to replace those cameras. We think there’s an opportunity here because we’re leveraging – you know – we’ve got a large bond issue that’s going on. We can provide the up-front funding to replace those cameras with the idea that the Safety Coalition essentially pays us back over the life of those cameras.
Basically by – you know – we do an annual contribution to the Safety Coalition. It’s $200,000 in the police budget. We think we can set up an arrangement where we reduce that contribution on an annual basis to essentially pay ourselves back for the cost of those cameras over a 10 year life span of the cameras.
So we haven’t had any in-depth discussions with the Safety Coalition but this will basically be a jolt of funds to be able to replace their current cameras which we all know have worked very well for police – they’ve helped uncover a number of crimes some quite recently including the one at this building. And again, over time be able to handle the financing of the Safety Coalition.
Councilman Pete Soto:
I have a question. Patrick, who has oversight of the Safety Coalition?
They have a separate board. The Safety Coalition has a separate board that provides the oversight both financial and operational.
Councilwoman Janet Diaz:
Patrick, how many cameras are there? [difficult to hear but that is the basis of her question]
I believe the total is 165. [Patrick looks back behind him at a man who nods his head yes when Hopkins asks, “Right?”]
[Difficult to hear but I believe she asks if that is the whole system]
Right. That’s throughout their whole entire system. And actually it’s a little bit less than 165 – there are, I think, seven or eight newer ones that were digital cameras.
And part of this was also the interconnection of those cameras – so it’s not just a physical camera up on a light pole or traffic signal pole. The interconnection of these cameras back to the Safety Coalition.
Are there any outside the city limits?
No. There’s a map on the Safety Coalition’s website – they have a map of all the camera locations.
Councilman Ismail Smith-Wade-El:
[Cannot hear his exact question but it is related to the seven or eight new cameras Patrick mentioned.]
They are within – they were purchased in the last year I believe – year – year-and-a-half. Something like that.
Just to be clear – nobody from LSC is running around pulling tapes out of cameras?
Correct. That would have been really old school.
* Sean Williams, the man who was tased in the viral video, was just interviewed on ABC-6 in Philly. They said his full interview will be on “Good Morning America” this morning.
I read the glowing report on Lancaster by New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman and for a minute I thought I’ve been wrong all this time (click here).
And then I took a close look at the picture of the Hourglass Foundation that is featured in his article and I saw the huge problem that totally escaped Friedman:
Click here for the LNP article, “Be like Lancaster, NY Times’ Tom Friedman advises in latest column,” and check back later today.