Somerville Speakup Line:Responding to 16 Year Olds Being Allowed to Vote

Dear Billy T. and Somerville Speakup Line,

Somerville politicians as a whole are pandering for votes more than any group of elected officials in the country. 16 year olds have been determined to be too young to drink, play the lottery, go to a casino, serve in the military, drive without a licensed adult, drive with anyone under 18 in the car except for a sibling, smoke or drink alcohol. But these elected officials say it’s ok for them to vote and decide what happens in a municipality?

Oh and wait…there’s more: If they commit a felony, they have been considered too young by the courts to know that it’s wrong so they’re charged with “delinquency- to wit (said charge)”. Carries a much, much, much more lenient sentence. There are actually hearings held to determine if a juvenile can be tried as an adult but yet they can unilaterally vote and decide civic matters and set policy? What planet are we on???

But hey, how are those part 1 crimes doing in Somerville? On the rise a little??? 🤣🤣🤣

May God bless the police officers

who work here because, regardless of the elected officials refuting this, the elected officials as a whole couldn’t care less about real issues and instead deflect to issues that are “smoke and mirrors.” Why not? It takes less effort and “feels good.”

How’s the opioid crisis? They hold vigils and want to provide places for people to continue illegal drug use instead of actually combatting the issue.

How are the firearm-related offenses? Oh, they’re on the rise?

I know that Assembly Row has increased shoplifting and larceny crime stats. I get it and it’s obviously expected. But how about allocating funds for a full time police officer down there? When they can’t fill that position the Ward 1 officer has to cover Assembly Row. Based upon the crime stats down there that is not only unfair to the Ward 1 officer but also to the residents of Ward 1 who have their assigned sector officer unable to conduct community policing and proactive patrolling there because he or she is tied up at Assembly Row. Why not force Assembly Row to pay for an assigned officer instead?

This city’s elected officials as a whole have to lead the league in cities or towns who conduct a “dog and pony” show regarding issues they would rather show window dressing than actually fight real issues. Does that mean all of them? No. Ward 1 City Councilor Matt McLaughlin and City Councilor at Large Bill White are exceptions. Are there more exceptions? Maybe, maybe not.

The Somerville City Council recently announced an attempt to restrict Somerville Police Officers regarding the stopping of unlicensed motor vehicle operators. They are seeking to limit the officers to summons the offender and not allow an arrest. There’s only one problem- the City Council obviously doesn’t understand that the authority given unto any police officer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts comes from the Massachusetts General Court (state legislature) and not the City Council.

I want to know why 1) time and money is being wasted on this unlawful idea which could never happen and 2) why the City Council is trying to hinder the incredible police officers of the Somerville Police Department. Could t be because many unlicensed operators are illegal immigrants and this is an attempt to hinder ICE deportation proceedings?

Until then I pray our local elected officials stop studying trees and bike lanes and focus on issues that actually impact our residents on a much high scale.

Property taxes and water and sewer rates have proposed increases to pay for affordable housing. What do my taxes already pay for? I assume it’s more than Partners Healthcare is paying for their commercial tax space at Assembly Row…but I digress.

Tommy O’Connor

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