City council takes careof itself, not the people
A move to deny citizens the right to be heard and the party to cast a vote is what I witnessed at the Youngstown City Council meeting Wednesday evening.
Youngstown's charter lacks an explanation for filling the empty president of council seat left open when Mr. Sammarone resigned last month. Therefore, the need arises to refer to Ohio Revised Code, which requires the precinct committee members to vote on appointing a successor.
One councilman recommended holding a special session to enact new legislation allowing council to decide who will be appointed. Then brazenly, an individual from the law department encouraged council members to act quickly before the Democratic Party could assemble precinct committee members to vote on a new president of council. I suggest following the letter of the law as it reads today; give the people a voice and a right to vote. Change the rules of the game before play begins, not in the middle of the game to suit your own personal ambitions.
City council held another special session Friday and will hold another today. Public speaking is prohibited at such sessions. This is no longer government for the people and by the people -- it's government for the government by the government.
People in Youngstown need to wake up and vote for substance and action rather than looks and lip service.
MARK S. MEMMER
Public safety demands a concealed carry law
If the 9/11 tragedy has shown America anything at all, it is the glaring fact that our government cannot guarantee individual safety. Little can be done to protect citizens from those with criminal intent, and random criminal acts on targets of opportunity are virtually unstoppable. The hard truth is that the people of this community are more likely to be affected by violent drug-related criminal acts than by terrorist acts which originate outside this country.
Murders in Youngstown are not being committed by NRA members, federally registered machine gun owners, militia members, sport shooters or Boy Scouts who learned gun safety at summer camp. The murders are being committed by a criminal element steeped in the drug culture and well known to law enforcement. One only has to read the daily police blotters to realize that the 99.9 percent of gun crime is fueled by the illegal drug trade in Youngstown. Robberies and burglaries provide the funds for buying drugs while shootings and murders weed out the competition.
Laws do provide a tool for the judicial system to punish those guilty of criminal behavior. However, laws do not deter drug-related crime any more than the death penalty deters people from committing murder. Criminals, by their very definition, do not obey laws. Drugs and large amounts of money only make them more dangerous. We need to put back a level of uncertainty into the minds of criminals. "Could my potential victim be armed?" The law-abiding citizens of this state deserve to be empowered by a concealed carry law. We are the law obeyers not law breakers.
I will never feel safe in the Valley until I am given the right to legally protect myself and my family in public. We are all at risk as long as convicted murderers, drug dealers, pedophiles, robbers and rapists continue to be released back into our community. Rep. Sylvester Patton should be more concerned for the safety of the criminals in his district in case concealed carry is made into law. He could help ensure their safety by pushing for longer mandatory sentencing for violent offenders and drug dealers. The longer the criminals are kept in prison, the safer they will be from the law-abiding citizens.