I talked about the need for community assessment and feedback in the first fresh ideas column. What is it that citizens really want? What can be done to address those needs? How do we get to the point where decision-makers pay attention to the people who live here in La Vergne?
Progress can start in conversations between friends. When you talk about areas of need, one suggestion may trigger another idea and that idea can grow into an accomplished project. But before work is actually done, these ideas need to be brought into the light of day! Or in this case, maybe one fresh idea can literally bring light to darkness.
Public safety is more than hiring more police officers*. One idea that I suggested when running for alderman was forming a task force of citizens to address improving street-lighting. The mission of this group would be to evaluate where street lights are needed. The goals would be to prioritize from “most needed” to “would be helpful.”
Such a task force could set up a timeline to install new lighting in different neighborhoods, to develop a 5-year or 10-year plan. I’m not talking about new subdivisions where builders / developers now have to meet certain codes and standards. I’m talking about existing neighborhoods and subdivisions built before more stringent requirements were adopted.
Not only should members of the community have input into this, but patrol officers should also participate. With planning from the city (elected officials, public works, administration), with feedback from residents to assess community needs, and with input from police who drive the streets every day and have first-hand knowledge of the street conditions, we can bring light to the dark.
Is the need for lighting streets an issue that could unite residents? Can we bring in some sunshine and banish some of the darkness with a little street light task force?
*Side-note: we need to not just fill vacant positions, but to create new positions."Fresh Ideas: Street Lights",