“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

still a city without pity

(Amarillo) I'm ashamed of the Amarillistas who live in my neighborhood. I've never been a big fan of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), and this brochure, placed on my front door last week, is typical.

Unfortunately, the NIMBYists won. I'm willing to bet that they were mostly elderly folks who had time to go to the City Commission meeting. (I was out of town, acting as a faculty sponsor for a UIL One-Act Play competition.) The City Commission voted against the permit for the substance abuse rehab facility.

Some of the bullet points on the brochure:

  • "What is the failure rate 36%?" (The punctuation, or lack thereof, suggests the 36% figure was just pulled from someone's ass. However, if it is accurate, a 64% success rate is actually good.)
  • "Will these Inmates be released to roam our neighborhood unsupervised?" (Yes-- have you ever seen A Clockwork Orange?)
  • "Will this halfway house have 30 Inmates from the prison as reported in the March 25th newspaper...or more later?" (No, they're just going to go to all this trouble for thirty guys-- and then close the place down once they're done.)

Oh, good Lord. Sometimes this city, for a place with a church on every corner...

Commissioner Ronald Boyd captured the essence of NIMBY in all its forms:
"Commissioner Ronald Boyd said although his brother received help from a halfway house in Houston, he didn't think the facility would work.

'It was its place,' Boyd said. 'I just don't think this is the place to do it.'"
Translation: These types of facilities provide a needed service and have been successful. But it's Somebody Else's Problem.

UPDATE: jobsanger has a post up about this that explains the situation more thoroughly.