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Let citizens serve on advisory panel
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor generic


I agree with Liberty County NAACP Branch President, Graylan Quarterman, who suggested that a citizen’s advisory group should be formed to discuss race relations, police and gun violence. Of course, Representative Al Williams thinks that there already exists such a group.

You guessed it. Representative Williams believes that the elected officials should be the advisory group. How wrong can he be? Mr. Quarterman said that the people do not trust government officials; and he is one hundred percent correct, especially Liberty County officials. They want to control everything that happens in the county without input from the people who really know what is going on.  

If the county officials can’t handle such an important job as properly spending the tax dollars from SPLOST, how can we expect them to do what is necessary to keep our community safe?

I recommend an independent advisory group consisting of the police chiefs of each local city, or their representative; a pastor from each city; and two non-political citizens from each city—they can be selected through a lottery. Maybe then we can have a proper dialog and be able to make recommendations as to what steps are needed to keep Liberty County safe. Keep the politicians away from the group.

The public’s views of race relations are more negative now than they have been for the last decade. I believe that the cause of racial tension is the poverty and ensuing hopelessness that results from the lack of economic opportunity.

When it comes to crime, long standing racial differences in the family structure is a contributing factor. Today, non-marital births are more than twice as common among black mothers, and black children are nearly three times as likely as white children to be living with a single parent. There has to be father figure in the household. A single mother should not be responsible to take on both roles.  

Of course, drugs and gangs play a critical role in crime. Street gangs are the primary distributors of illegal drugs. Gangs are proliferating in rural and suburban areas of the country as gang members flee the increasing law enforcement pressure in urban cities. This proliferation in nonurban areas is accompanied by violence and is threatening society in general.

I believe — as a people—we all get along pretty good in Liberty County; and it’s just a few bad apples stirring up trouble. What we need are solutions to turn troubled teens around before they get in over their heads. We need solutions on stopping the flow of drugs into our neighborhoods. We need to get respect for teachers back into the schools. We need to stop making the same mistakes time and time again. We need to be good neighbors.

Len Calderone

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