Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To planning on public involvement. Fulton County Administrative Officer Jon Stead recently outlined for supervisors the county’s Strategic Plan. He said the third and last initiative of the plan relates to public safety, and the county and the public can get more involved.

While there are other aspects to the plan, what got our attention was the idea to get public volunteer groups and church groups involved in improving security in county neighborhoods. He said the plan doesn’t call for creation of neighborhood watches, which are in place anyway, but could involve expansion of what they do.

“It’ s a little bit of a different twist on neighborhood watches,” Stead said.

That’s a good idea. People want to live in safe neighborhoods. We are sure there will be many people willing to help law enforcement crack down on crime.

JEERS – To a lack of common sense. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law recently that prohibits direct contact between members of the public and big cats at traveling animal shows and fairs. Animal exhibitors would face fines for each violation.

The legislation coincidentally arrives at a time when so-called tiger selfies have become popular profile photos on online dating sites, with users looking to stand out by posting a photo of themselves with the dangerous predators.

The law should not be necessary; common sense should keep people from getting so close to tigers, lions and other big cats.

CHEERS – To a needed push. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer visited the former Tryon Juvenile Detention Center – which is now eyed as a site for a technology park and business incubator – on Thursday. The senator is urging the Northern Border Regional Commission to provide federal funding to help turn the central building on the Tryon campus into a business training center run by Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

The funds would help complete a series of renovations that would convert the building into lab and classroom spaces for a new trades program.

Helping the program would not just aid one project, but encourage more start-up businesses and jobs to come to consider the site. A thriving technology park at Tryon would be a major economic boost for the entire region, well worth the funds from the group.