Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Safety Dance

City of Commerce City & Reunion Metro District’s policies of safety and enforcement called into question By Karl Emmerich -opinion

If it were a dance it would be a tango. If it were an outfit, it might be a poodle skirt. But any way you look at it, the dance around city policies and safety violations in recent months is both flamboyant and seemingly a partnered proposition between the City of Commerce City and the Reunion Metro District. A cautious walk around Reunion is demarcated by orange pylons atop unfinished streets, curbs, and gutters. Fortunately, the “Baby Jessica” open wells have not yet been demarcated by a death, dismemberment, or insurance claim that we know of, but rather a trade-off between our safety and the cost of metal caps or hourly employees.

But if safety doesn’t sell, neither does compliance. “Bootleg” builder signs surround Reunion and litter 104th Avenue and Chambers Road, representing city ordinance defiance on an even grander, if not more ‘willful and organized’ (and un-ticketed) way. While the City Council clamors to recover the millions it misplaced during this mayoral administration, they ought to “see the signs” of possible fiscal recovery aligning our own northern highways and byways. Ticketing commercial non-compliance might even be more prolific if not more palatable than taxing new economic development at the hands of head, seat, and sales taxes.

Conspiracy theory aside, Commerce City northern residents are armed with little else in the way of explaining why resident complaints have gone unanswered or un-mediated. To the best of our knowledge, Richmond Homes, Centex, DR Horton, and Carapace haven’t been issued a single ticket any more than the South Adams County Water and Sanitation District (SACWSD), Reunion Metro District, or City of Commerce City have claimed responsibility for the 20-foot black holes wide enough to swallow your three-year-old.

Happiness starts here, but safety, not-so-much
. Oversight is more rather like a hot potato, passed around between agencies amidst pointed fingers. And even the culmination of a tragic result doesn’t seem to be impetus enough for change. Take for example, the death at our own Buffalo Run Golf Course, this past year, when James Bohling whose body was ripped apart and then dragged some 90 feet by a tractor whose safety mechanisms were deliberately disengaged. Rather than fire employees, overhaul policy, and enact real change, the ‘offending tractor’ was removed.

If you hadn’t heard of the above atrocity, don’t worry – few others had, as well. The safety oversight cum death weren’t regarded to be “City News” newsworthy anymore than other information you ought to know about. Caveat Emptor must remain, at least for the moment, a sign of the times for more than just northern Commerce City homebuyers. We all, as residents, ought to ask just a few more questions of our representatives, questioning most things that land in our mailboxes. To this quest, here are just a few names and phone numbers. Also – tell us what you think. Go to our blog Click Here...

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