Skip to comments.(Lakewood TN) Angry Citizens Seek To Get Rid Of Their Own City
Posted on 03/01/2010 6:24:30 PM PST by The Magical Mischief Tour
LAKEWOOD, Tenn. - Angry citizens in the city of Lakewood said it's time to do away with their own local government.
They are collecting signatures on a petition in hopes of surrendering the city charter and allowing Metro to take over all city services.
Critics of city leaders said they are not responsive.
"It's not listening. Like when you have 100 people show up against something and they pass it anyway. They are not listening to what the public wants," said Dr. Nelson Wilson, a member of Citizens to Reform Lakewood.
He pointed most recently to city leaders approving a controversial ordinance giving the city power to condemn rundown properties.
Wilson and others said it's time to shut their local government down and let the current staff go.
"I hope they have to look for other jobs. I really do," said Camile Edwards, also a member of Citizens to Reform Lakewood.
Ray Barrett with the Metro Election Commission said Lakewood is unique.
"They still have councilman and pay taxes, but they have their own city government," said Barrett.
Forty-seven years ago Davidson County merged with Nashville to form Metro government. Lakewood chose to staff its own city government. Critics said the system no longer works and wants them all out.
Lakewood police chief K.D. Smith understands citizens are angry. He said if the charter goes away it would among other things eliminate the Lakewood Police Department.
Current police response time to an emergency call is 5 to 10 minutes. If the force is eliminated Smith said "with Metro answering calls it could go to 30 minutes or longer."
Citizens to Reform Lakewood will begin collecting signatures for a petition. If 1/3 of the city's 1,300 residents agree to surrender the charter then the matter will go to public vote possibly in August.
Lakewood is not the only city in Metro with its own charter. Others are Oak Hill, Belle Meade, Berry Hill, Goodlettsville and Forest Hills.
I know for a fact this city, its residents have for months now been complaining about its Police Department, or lack there of.
It has its own police force, but in the past months people have been complaining about calls for police going unanswered and Metro PD having to eventually answer them, because the Lakewood cops were busy on traffic stops or at the Jail with a traffic related arrest.
Citizen feel that the police have been ignoring traditional call, such as suspicious persons, potential property crimes in progress so they could conduct traffic stops, write tickets and make traffic related arrests. They paws off other calls on Metro PD which has jurisdiction inside the city, mush like a Sheriff has jurisdiction inside a city that is inside his county.
Its a big ole mess...
Wow. Can you imagine such a thing on a larger scale, like nationally? /sarc
Citizens should get a clue about representative government. It’s not always about what 100 citizens that show up at a meeting want. The worst form of government is a democracy.
Trashing their local government and joining the big collective won’t be the panacea they thing it’s going to be.
That’s a novel way to fight city hall — abolish it.
Can we do that on a federal level?
While I do agree with you on principal. What you have to understand is that this example of a little town is one ripe with corruption from top to bottom. Where just recently some scandals involved a relative of an elected official stealing money she collected in her job by processing traffic tickets. Another was selling contracts, yet another was proposing laws/ordinances and getting them passed which benefited him personally and financially. Several Police Officers in the past few years have been quietly fired or told to resign for crimes committed while on duty, in one case a felony.
Yet not a single person has ever been charged let alone tried for any of these criminal actions.
As a former victim of the Lakewood school zone speed trap on OHB, I whole-heartedly agree.
The entire “city” of Lakewood brings one word to mind:
$175 for 25 in a 15 on a 4 lane road is just ridiculous.
It’s safer for them to make traffic stops.
What is each motor officer’s daily ticket quota?
They pick places where the drivers are trying to merge for traffic meaning to speed up and change lanes. Add to that Tennessee has a very poorly written Move Over Law. IOW if a LEO is making a traffic stop you must move over one lane. On I-75 south between the 112 and 105 mile markers this is very dangerous as the city can have up to eight cars working two miles. Move over law violations will be their next big push. Never mind the fact they purposely set up the condition.
I've seen them do very dangerous stunts like U-Turns into oncoming traffic and stopping cars against guard rails etc. The Police Chief Of Knoxville is an outspoken supporter of cameras as well.
The other day while driving to Knoxville south bound down I-75 I had to change lanes 4 times in two miles and was trying to get in the needed right hand lane for I-640 west. On a bad place a city Cop was getting out of is UNMARKED cruiser and started waving me to change lanes. I'd had enough. This revenue enhancement law enforcement needs to stop and Tennessee Lawmakers need to pass some laws to make it stop. Their fee grabbing to me is not an emergency I need to move over for as they are endangering my life and others by forcing many lane changes in heavy traffic just to write traffic citations in what is an obvious speed trap.
It's not about law enforcement any more nor about safety. It's all about seeing how many tickets can be written per day in any giver area and the revenue it brings in to the city. With Lakewood police being so busy with traffic stops it sounds like they got the Revenue bag as well.
The city of Oak Ridge is as bad. They operate a speed camera on their main turnpike in a school zone. This speed camera is on even after school hours and on days kids are not present. It's all about revenue. Worse City Of Oak Ridge has a roving spy van as well.
The word games they play! Reminds me of what I heard on conservative talk radio yesterday. Can't remember all the details (please forgive me if I'm wrong on some), but basically went like this:
A man calls the police about an intruder on his property trying to break in, asks them to send some police right away. The dispatcher says there's no one currently available, but they might be on scene in 15 minutes or more, to just be patient.
A few minutes later, the same man calls the police again. He says not to bother rushing to respond. Dispatcher says "why not?". Man says "because I shot the intruder!".
Within 2 minutes a dozen cops show up with sirens and flashing lights. A cop questions the homeowner "why didn't you tell the dispatcher you had a gun?".
The man asks the cop, "why did the dispatcher tell me no one was available to respond?".
Fairbanks and North Pole Alaska tried that years ago. Did n’t work.
Nice try tho.....
Apparently, Metro has been the principal responders, and their 5-10 minute response time claims are bogus.
Why don’t they stop voting for people who don’t listen?
We did it in a town adjacent to Garland (near Dallas), Texas, and eliminated the police department there after citizens were being given superfluous revenue tickets and had enough of those antics. I saw it firsthand. A large number of angry citizens began to come to city council meetings such that a vote was finally held and that department was eliminated based on citizen complaints.
So, dump the city government, and then form an independent police district, and hire cops, or contract it out.
The speed limit on OHB hasn't been 15 mph in the 34 years I've been driving. Is it 45, and maybe it used to be 40 mph. However, you are correct about it being a speed trap. Lakewood police will give you a ticket if you go more than 2 or 3 miles over. No one speeds through the area that has any sense. They will chase you out of their jurisdiction too. Oak Hill police are the same on Franklin Road near Melrose.
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