Barber: Pawtucket needs common sense safety laws, upgrades

Barber: Pawtucket needs common sense safety laws, upgrades

Just as Washington needs to pass simple common sense laws on gun control, Pawtucket needs to pass common sense charter and ordinance laws. Common sense will tell you that city officials’ number one priority should be the safety and security of its citizens. And, of its citizens, our children should be first protected.

Is it not common sense that children are our future and education is the key to that future? Or has something changed that I am not aware of? Did I miss something? Our city officials always say what is missing is the money. I say the money is there but not being spent on priorities. Pawtucket is going to spend $100,000 for a special election for an empty at-large seat on the City Council.

Common sense tells me that the seat could be appointed or left vacant until the November general election. Common sense tells me that if you took that $100,000 and instead put it toward bringing our schools up to fire code, bringing sprinkler systems, which are essential, up to date, and missing from some parts of our schools, where our children attending classes daily.

As a member of the school facilities board, I do know that under the direction of our school superintendent we have come a long way in trying to keep our kids safe and secure. We’ve updated fire alarms, lighting, and doors. But it seems at this rate, city officials are spending money on non-priority items, such as a frisbee golf course at Slater Park, new positions, hires, raises ... I’m not saying these things shouldn’t be done, but should be lower priority. Our schools should be #1.

Bringing sprinkler systems up to code is a lengthy process. Planning is in the works now, and it would be good to get a common sense, clear response from officials as to how long this entire process of updating the systems will take.

On gun control, common sense tells me a city ordinance needs to be passed that no bump stock parts are allowed in Pawtucket. Any type of assault weapons are not allowed to be stored in Pawtucket unless it is at a public target shooting range (of which I am not aware of any) in a locked 24/7 guarded armory.

I was in the Marine Corps from 1972 to 1974, and we were not allowed to take our weapons home. Assault weapons were designed for the battlefields, not to protect your home. Shotguns and handguns are designed for that purpose. Simple common sense charter and ordinance changes should not take longer that six months to do.

Rodney Barber