Every election, the League of Women’s Voters publishes a voter’s guide. The guide is nothing more than an assembling of each candidate’s answers to a basic questionnaire. While it is perhaps not the most interesting approach, it is entirely free from the possibility of bias. Serious candidates generally respond promptly to the survey, so that they can be included in this widely regarded publication. So it was particularly disappointing to see that two of the three candidates which the mayor is supporting for council failed to respond. The screenshots included in this article were retrieved from their website on Sunday, March 14. If late responses were provided by these candidates, they can be retrieved here.
While ward 3 representative Griffin did respond, her answers were troubling. We were particularly concerned by this:
Eradicate wordage within governmental process, protocol or policy that have negative impacts on disenfranchised and marginalized residents, whether it be economically, socially, environmentally, psychologically or otherwise.
In recent council meetings, Griffin has showed a stubborn failure to understand the potential implications of changing our city’s ordinances. For the past two sessions, she has attempted to remove the requirement that food trucks licensed by the city include the city as an “additional insured”, and notify the city if their policy is cancelled. This requirement prevents the city from suffering loss if it is named in a lawsuit involving a food truck. At little or no cost to the vendor, the insurance company includes the city in the policy coverage of the vendor. Such a requirement is present in every municipality and private venue we could find. Striking it poses such a reckless danger to the city that Mayor Jones spoke out against it, telling her faction on the council that when she worked for Mary Kay, the same requirement was applied to them.
Griffin also suggests that we should “increase overall safety by means of alternative solutions.” But her several years in council have left us with no picture of what those solutions would be. When it comes to solving our traffic problems, which claimed yet another life last weekend, Griffin failed to bring appointments to the traffic commission for months, during which meetings were cancelled for lack of quorum, then nominated somebody who was not a Ferguson resident, and therefore was not eligible to serve. As for the other safety issues which plague our city, including a surge in homicide and daily gunfire, and a general atmosphere of lawlessness in which people drive down our busiest roads on off-road vehicles, barrel through traffic lights, and show little regard for laws or community, Griffin has left us with no idea how she would improve that situation.
Griffin is, as she said in a recent council meeting, a legislator. As a legislator, her proposals are not mere “wordage”, they are the law. Voters should be wary of a lawmaker who takes such a casual view of her work. But of course, that can be said of the mayor’s bloc as a whole. Disregard of the law has become common and accepted under this administration, and every Ferguson resident, regardless of their race and means, is a victim of that disregard.