The front page of the Record yesterday was a story about Roger Brooks' latest powerpoint presentaion. Brooks is the consultant out of Seattle Stockton spends our tax dollars on to tell us how to help "brand" Stockton. You may remember him from his previous jobs in helping out the cities of Turlock and Angels Camp. Hell of a job Brooksy.
You probably remember him from that time he suggested that Stockton be a tourist destination branded "The Event City".
Yeah, now he admits that probably wasn't the best idea. His the solution? An even shittier idea. How shittier? Let's look at his list of suggestions, shall we? (List via the previously linked Record article)
-Make downtown look festive by installing colorful light-pole banners and displaying art in empty storefronts.
Festive banners? "Oh my, there can't be crime here, they have fancy banners up." "You know, I was gonna gonna go buy some pot downtown, but I decided not too after I saw those festive banners." See how ridiculous that sounds? My friend was recently in a downtown area that had festive looking banners. Unfortunatly it was downtown Salt Lake City. He said it was still boring as shit. And I don't think there's nearly enough art in the world to fill all those empty storefronts.
-Build a covered, permanent farmers market at Weber Point Events Center. (From here on referred to as WPEC)
Actually there's nothing really wrong with this idea. Except for when the Asparagus Festival rolls around. Then it might get in the way. Plus the huge fences surrounding the WPEC will help keep the bad element out.
-Remove fences around WPEC, the Sheraton Hotel and elsewhere downtown. The fences, Brooks said, reinforce the inaccurate perception that downtown is unsafe. "It drives us nuts, the lockdown mentality you have in your downtown," he said.
Wait what? Has this guy been downtown? Or did the city just e-mail a bunch of pictures to his offices in Seattle? I've made my thoughts about this "perception problem" that city officials think we have pretty clear. It's bullshit. Hell, I served jury duty late last year and I felt unsafe. And I was walking around the place where the laws are freaking upheld. Those fences are the only thing keeping the Sheraton from being covered head to toe in graffiti.
-Pump music into WPEC, Dean De Carli Waterfront Square and other places downtown. The music selection could change depending on the time of day, season or event.
Are we talking about downtown or a mall? Considering who'd be in charge of the playlist, I don't really feel like listening to smooth jazz when I'm headed to Bradley's. Of course the other side of the spectrum is pumping in the dulcet tones of Tizzle and Okwerdz. Which would be hilarious. I take it back, great idea.
-Install a free Wi-Fi network throughout downtown to allow people to work outdoors and linger at sidewalk coffee shops and cafes
He wants us to bring our computers downtown? I don't feel safe walking around with my $50 cell phone, let alone a $1,000 laptop. But I just pervieved my cell phone getting jacked when I was downtown last year. Didn't actually happen.
-Install an iconic water feature, such as a geyser, in the Stockton Deep Water Channel. "It's doesn't have to be the Bellagio, but something out there," he said
Man, that sounds really familiar. Maybe it's because we already have one of those at the WPEC.
Of course I saved the best suggestion for last. (In my words, not The Record's)
-Festivly decorate the police cars by painting the white and pink to give people a softer view of the police department.
I'll let that one sink in for a second.
Done laughing yet? No? It's ok, I got time.
Now? No? No worries
I'd say how terrible of an idea this is, but Chief Tom Morris (I'm assuming chief of police, but the article doesn't say, so he could be the indian chief from the Village People for all we know) puts it way more eloquently than I can. (Via the same article)
"I think the people in our community don't want a softer image of the Police Department," Chief Tom Morris said. "They want a professional and visible police force that will impact our violent crime rate." He said "the expense of painting police cars white and pink" would do nothing for that.
Well put. Speaking of expenses, I wonder how much it cost to pay this guy to come up with these brilliant ideas. Luckily it tells us later in the article that we're paying him $125,000. At least $50,000 of it coming from our tax dollars. Is it too late to get a refund?