My Turn, Eric Perry: Why try to silence citizens?

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The city of Salisbury is no longer the city I resided in as a child. The violence and killings put me in fear of some innocent citizen getting hurt. All I and the rest of the citizens want are the basics — the right to life, liberty and happiness. No more and no less.

We want to live in a city where we can go get an ice cream cone without the fear of bullets passing, or go to lunch without our vehicle being sprayed with bullets. I fearful for college students who have somehow become victims of armed robbery. I fear for elderly residents who want to take a stroll to exercise. I fear for children riding bikes on the sidewalks. I fear for the city.

I recently attended a City Council meeting and spoke. I listened to concerns about various issues, and I studied the face of each council member. A few seemed interested in what I was saying, while others looked stone-faced or unconcerned.

This is serious. The crime is real and time is out for playing games. We need to take immediate action or the crime is going to escalate even more. People are getting killed. Meth labs are more popular than the latest dance move. Gang activity is at an all-time high and some of the council members are passive about it as if the problem will go away if we don’t mention it. How absurd!

Being a business operator for over 30 years in Salisbury, I am a friend of the court and very familiar with some law enforcement officers and most judges. They know me to be a fair and open minded person.

However, I am disappointed in what is happening with City Council. How dare the council even consider outlining new rules for public speaking? It is a slap in the face to all who voted you in. Remember, November is not far away.

You want to silence the citizens because you don’t want to hear concerns for the city, but you sit back in your chairs and smile and relax when you listen to a proposal for making Salisbury an All America City. It is time to get your priorities straight. Why does the council want to alter public comments at a time as crucial as now? What is the purpose?

When Carolyn Logan appears to speak out on the crime and violence, its scares me because some of council go into stroke mode, and I don’t see paramedics. Stop denying there is a problem. She is telling you the truth. I asked council to work with her to seek and brainstorm solutions.

Council can’t do it all, and parents definitely are stakeholders in this. The problem is that you are made aware daily that there are problems. Ms. Logan has expressed her fears which are the same as mine and others. Safety is a large concern. You ignored Ms. Logan when she expressed her fears of a child getting hurt, an elderly person or someone with a disability. She warned of this months before little A’yanna Allen was killed. How many more innocent lives have to be lost before you realize there is a problem?

Eric Perry grew up in Salisbury.