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Here are some of the comments left by readers:
What bothers me most about this is the lack of public inclusion on the team that added this to the downtown improvement plan. It looks like this was all business owners. I don’t live in a mall. I just happen to live downtown.
The reason people don’t shop down here isn’t because they are worried about security, it’s because they don’t really have any good choices. There are zero other attractions other than shopping. Well there are what 5 coffee shops? I supposed you can call that an attraction.
These cameras sound like the desperate last gasps of out of touch business owners. Unfortunately, if they are successful, downtown will be given the equivalent of herpes in the form of these domed cameras. They’ll never go away. They’ll be there long after these business owners move on into retirement.
– Mike Jay
Interesting how they shut off our streetlights and parks maintenance due to budget constraints but manage to come up with $188k (plus thousands in annual maintenance) to enhance their already bloated police state!
– Ian Carman
So, downtown merchants want the taxpayers to fund (to the tune of $188,000 plus annual maintenance) increased security for their businesses in the form of security cameras. If they are so concerned about security why don’t they band together and raise the money for their own security cameras? This is another case of a small group in a very large city wanting special treatment at taxpayer expense. By the way, didn’t this paper tell us recently we were the #2 safest city in the nation?
– Neil Talbott
How about we just use that money to turn all the streetlights in the city back on.
– David Reed
This has been an interesting process to watch. But I really think Mr. Jay’s comment is pretty accurate in that this has every appearance of ‘grasping for straws’ by downtown merchants to come up with a feel good reason for their failure to market the downtown in a manner to draw the public to town.
Downtown isn’t ‘happening’ cause downtown: “Isn’t” You can have a cup of coffee, eat, go to council meetings, get drunk. But what else?
The real question might be – - how do we make downtown happen? What can people do to encourage more events that will draw people to the area and how can downtown merchants utilize these events to market themselves? As we have seen vision and leadership are running a little on the weak side and until there is a ‘leadership sponsored’ strategic plan to aggressively market the downtown – it may be up to groups of young, fresh, innovative, and forward thinking groups to pitch in and come up with some positive ideas for potential solutions. And – - wave at the cameras! Will the old folks listen?
– Rick Wehner
I find it laughable that some people are crying invasion of privacy! WHAT PRIVACY? If your outside in the public parks, on public streets, walking public sidewalks guess what…YOU DON’T HAVE ANY PRIVACY! YOUR IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN! YOU HAVE NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY!
It would be nice if people would start studying the BILL OF RIGHTS before they express their ignorance. This argument by the opposition is about as dumb as the argument they are having in Illinois where cops are arresting people for video taping arrests that are made in the public eye. If an event can be seen from the public area such as the sidewalk or street it can be video taped.
We have a beautiful downtown area. Hopefully we can keep it that way!
– Kevin Koop