TODAY'S QUESTION: Are you for or against Proposition 1?

Monday, April 5, 2010 | 9:22 a.m. CDT

In addition to electing a new mayor for the first time since 1995, Tuesday’s ballot will also include Proposition 1, a measure that will place cameras in the Central Business District if voters say yes.

Hitt Street, Elm Street, Providence Road and Rogers Street in front of Columbia College border The District.

The movement for the downtown cameras began with Karen Taylor, mother of Adam Taylor. Adam was a victim of an assault in a parking garage that had security cameras, which led to the arrest of five of the seven teenagers responsible.

Karen cites the incident involving her son as an example of how valuable cameras are in helping with investigations and trials.

After the incident, Karen founded Keep Columbia Safe, a grass roots organization intended to improve public safety. The organization led the movement for the proposition by circulating a petition on downtown cameras.

Not everyone agrees that downtown cameras are necessary, citing concern over how effective the camera would be in catching crime.

Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton said the cameras could be up for years without detecting a crime and he thinks the biggest value of the cameras would be as a deterrent.

Another concern for opponents of the proposition is that the videos recorded on cameras would become public record.

Keep Columbia Free, a political action committee that opposes the ballot issue, sponsored a Friday screening of “1984,” a film adaptation of George Orwell's novel depicting a totalitarian society marked by heavy surveillance of citizens.

Are you for or against Proposition 1?

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Deidra Lookingbill April 5, 2010 | 2:37 p.m.

I don't understand the logic behind voting against Prop 1. The security cameras in no way infringe upon private lives or individual rights as they are to be used in public locations, not private homes. As far as the cameras serving mostly as a deterrent, isn't that a good thing? Wouldn't we much rather stop crime before it happens rather than catch the perpetrators after the fact?

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 5, 2010 | 3:28 p.m.

Deidra, I would say perhaps it might be best to turn the question around and ask what is the logic of voting FOR Prop 1. It's always easy to come up with endless new laws and endless new ways ways to spend the tax payers money, but as a steward of The People's money, those who are elected should treat it as their own and spend only with RESTRAINT especially in this current economic reality, where tax dollars are getting harder and harder to find.

So again why are these cameras needed and can a real NEED be shown, or as I asked before is this a problem looking for a solution, or rather (as I suspect ) a (tax payer provided) 'solution' looking for a problem? I'm not convinced the downtown is unsafe at all, as I also pointed out I go there often, have for years, have NEVER once felt unsafe or had a single problem. And too don't we already have CPD officers patrolling the area? Are you saying there is so much crime there downtown now that the CPD can't keep up with it? Can you cite statistics on serious downtown crime and give evidenced facts that clearly show the downtown NEEDS these at all?

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John Schultz April 5, 2010 | 4:12 p.m.

Over 90% of assaults in Columbia occur outside the downtown area and surrounding property. The number of cameras that would be required to actually cover the District and make it "safe" are far more than the four systems that the council turned down previously. Instead of providing a government handout to the District and business owners there, let them put up their own cameras. The District approved $25K for half of the system, but never put in their own system. Makes me think crime isn't as bad as they say.

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Al Bundy April 5, 2010 | 4:20 p.m.

Carl, you might go downtown but from your preposterous comment about not being sure if there even is a problem with the crimes of violence and vandalism Downtown is evidence that you rarely are in the downtown area after 10pm never mind after midnight when all the scumbags are out in full force at least 3 to 4 days a week. Fact is there's so much stuff going on the cops can't keep up with every law that is being broken so they try to focus on what may take priority in a chaotic situation. Basically what I'm saying is many crimes are going largely under reported and certain people use those bogus stats to reassure the pubic everything's fine when it's not (Hence "Say no to prop 1" advocates). If you wanna talk about tax payers money going to waste on things one can easily dig up dozens of other situation far greater than prop 1 where that is has and will happen.

Yours truly- Experienced night time witness to the B.S.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 5, 2010 | 5:50 p.m.

Al I'm trying to follow your thinking here, perhaps you can tell everyone including me why my comment asking for clarification and HARD DATA concerning what crimes by "all the scumbags" downtown (in your words) is so hard for you to come up with. You didn't site ANY evidence to back up your assertion.

You say-- "Fact is there's so much stuff going on (downtown) the cops can't keep up with every law that is being broken so they try to focus on what may take priority in a chaotic situation." *Chaotic situation*??? REALLY??? The cops just 'can't keep up with *it* ALL???? tell me, what is-- IT ALL??? Got FACTS?

How serious anyway really are any of these alleged 'crimes' that nobody reports them? Cops ALWAYS in any area have to focus on PRIORITIES,as they SHOULD, we could I guess have an army of CPD's finest out in force looking for midnight jaywalkers, but would that really be an efficient use of tax dollars? What kind of crimes are we talking about here really and how does this really effect anyone who shops and dines in the local businesses there? THIS should be a key question. Can you be more specific and really relate some HARD facts. I just don't honestly see it.

Personally I hate to see what is ALREADY happening in parts of OUTER Columbia, evryday I see new Big Brother cameras popping up, where are all of these coming from, they are putting them up on the overpasses and along the highways, etc. Tell me Al, WHEN will we ever have enough, once we start down this road of 24/7 cradle to grave surveillance, look what has happened in the U.K. one camera for every 4 people, soon it will we 1 for 2, then 1 for 1, then soon cameras will out number people. Who pays for all of this AL, and again, Where does it end???

(Report Comment)
Richard Hayden April 5, 2010 | 8:49 p.m.

Does a bear poop in the woods if there is no one there to see it, yes, evidently since there will be a camera to catch it. Besides we won't need as many patrol cars, only someone to monitor the cameras. Quick open and shut court dates with accompanying videos proving quilt. After that placing cameras on those convicted will eliminate crime, at least that of repeat offenders. Why not place chips in newborn children and big bro can watch us from cradle to grave, making sure we pay our taxes and thus providing funding for the huge bureaucracy needed to administer it. BTW…for the serious types, I’m joking!
No on 1, those that vote yes can pay for it?

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 6, 2010 | 12:39 a.m.

Well, let me tell everyone where IT eventually ENDs, especially for the uninitiated and those who have a hard time seeing the future.
It ends with nothing less (long term) than having EVERYONE in time Verichipped, so that every place you go, everyone you talk to, every purchase you make, every political and religious thought you express, every sicknees you've ever had, every dollar you make, and everything you have ever done, entered into a giant "total information awareness' file that will allow you (or not) to enter into certain places and contracts and be able to do certain things (based on the *approval* of those who control such things, approving your 'right' to certain 'benefits' and access,and having bar code readers on doors etc. to keep out the 'scumbags'. (Just observe what is already happening in places like the U.K.)

But never forget, the amount LIberty and privacy that you will have to give up to not be one of the 'scumbags' will be extreme. As long as you accept only 'correct' thoughts and constant control I guess maybe you won't have to be too 'concerned' (at least for awhile)

Right now NAIS (National Animal Identification) is waiting in the wings, an effort to microchip and track ALL farm animals, from cradle to grave, though it is meeting alot of resistance from small and local farmers, the BIG GUYS are working night and day to make it a reality. Guess what. YOU'RE NEXT.

Some may think this is overly sensationalistic, that's fine, whatever you want to think, though I gurantee you it is not. You just need to take a good look at where we've been, where we are now, and where we are going (if people don't eventually at SOME point say ENOUGH.

I don't make any claim that extra cameras in downtown Columia are going to usher this in by themselves, of course not, and I'm not just speaking locally, all I'm saying is after this(on the larger scale) what next, more cameras, will those first ones be enough, then what, even more and more new laws and enforcement to pay for those first cameras, so we can have even more, and then and on and on. Look back at when George Orwell told us what was coming decades ago. Was he right? Did we listen? Do we really care? Is this really the world we want for ourselves and our children? A giant fishbowl with ZERO privacy? Has the corporate media so scared the sheep that they see 'terror' everywhere they look and must always run to the arms of the big Nanny STate for their 'protection'. (and have their money extorted to pay for it all in the process?)

I hope people can leave the scary media stories behind. A boogie man behind every bush and a 'terrorist' behind every rock. Do bad things happen? Obviously, and it will always be so. Is having a camera or microchip for every citizen going to stop bad things from happening? I'm not convinced. And even if it could the question in the end is .....At What price?

(Report Comment)
Al Bundy April 6, 2010 | 3:41 a.m.

You're missing a big part of the whole thing as most of your type do. George Orwell's book was fictional, that's a FACT.. So using a back dated book as an analogy to modern times is in itself ridiculous and creates public paranoia and unrealistic views of our modern situation. So in essence you contradict yourself.

Oh. by the way I like the way you say SCUMBAG!

(Report Comment)
Mark Flakne April 6, 2010 | 6:30 a.m.

Myriad reputable studies show that cameras neither deter violent crime nor provide an effective means for catching violent criminals. They are a waste of tax dollars, plain and simple. Compounding the problem in Columbia is the Prop 1 plan to place the cameras in a low-crime area at the whim of some powerful and well-funded special interests.

Making this decision on one isolated fluke anecdote, defies logic and is bad public policy. If the Special Business District want cameras, the businesses in the district should simply pay for them and install them on their private property.

I will be voting a resounding NO on Prop 1 and will urge Columbia voters to do the same.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler April 6, 2010 | 7:53 a.m.

Al, I won't beat a dead horse here, I have already posted alot of topic info that people can research further themselves if they feel so inclined (or not), (NAIS, Verichip, etc.) and perhaps we just see things differently at this point, no problem, that's what great about America, we can simply agree to disagree.

Yes, Orwell's book '1984' was set in a fictional setting, but the ideas he expressed about a 'Big Brother' total surveillance state apparatus are FACT and coming true faster and faster each day. Just look around Al, you may not see it, but I can assure you many many others do.

Not sure what the "my kind' comment is that you refer to, I'll just assume you are being positive and by that mean those that are awake. Yes many of 'us' are, we have followed historical trends and see clearly where we currently are, and where we are headed if things continue down this road. This has nothing to do with trying to 'scare' anyone, simply to alert them they have a choice NOW in whether or not we end up in "Orwell's world" like the U.K. or instead protect ourselves in this War on Privacy and make the choice to value Liberty and Privacy or give it all up for a little "temporary security", to paraphrase Franklin.

Good day sir, I hope you enjoy a happy and "safe" day today if you happen to be going down into the very "dangerous"??? Columbia downtown business district.

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