It seems we’ve made a mistake . . . we printed a letter without a
signature. Now people aren’t happy about it. We’re not sure if they are
more concerned with who wrote the letter, or what the letter said.
It’s been a long-standing policy to not print letters that are not
signed by the writer. In the past 20 years we can recall twice that we
decided to wave the policy. One was when a mother wanted to address
some bullying issues with her child and feared retaliation if anyone
knew who wrote the letter – the message was extremely important and we
certainly understood her concerns. The other was the letter from a
couple weeks ago about the police issue in Richmond.
When we received the letter we really would have preferred a signature
. . . our first intent was to toss the letter in the garbage and wait
for a phone call from the writer, questioning why the letter didn’t
appear. Fact is, we dug the letter out of the garbage and read it
again, thinking we could use the jest of it in this column. Then we
changed our mind and decided the message was strong enough to let
others read it.
Our first, and strongest, feeling about the letter was that there was a
good message – Cold Spring and Richmond worked together on something.
And accomplished something for the general good of the people.
We’re not sure how long the Cold Spring/Richmond discontent has
existed. We don’t even know for sure what started the alleged squabbles
. . . on a personal level we’ve never had any problems with any
Richmond people. From our corner of the world we’ve gotten along with
those to our west rather well. There will always be those who don’t
agree with some things we say in this column . . . we’ve known that to
be true of ALL our readers, not just those living in Richmond.
Fact is, in the construction of our home we contracted with a Richmond
plumber for our plumbing; a Richmond company for our heating and air
conditioning; and we ordered our appliances from a Richmond hardware
store. We do some banking in Richmond, eat out in Richmond, and in the
past have purchased several boats in Richmond. We’ve had a Richmond
company do landscape work for us; we buy gas there . . . this list
could go on. Not that we don’t spend our share of money in Cold Spring,
the point is that we think it’s important to patronize our customers
everywhere we can, and Richmond is one of those places where we do
To us the most important part of the letter that apparently has people
talking is that our two towns were working together. That what was
done, did some good, and that at least some people are happy about it.
For those upset about the letter, take a second to consider the
positive. Because the city of Richmond and the city of Cold Spring
worked together to get more police presence in Richmond, there are
nearly 9 pounds of marijuana (about $50,000 worth) that will not be on
the streets. That’s a lot of pot that won’t work its way into our
schools and homes. There are also two individuals facing jail time.
We had hoped that part of the letter would have been the main focus,
but apparently it isn’t.
In the letter the writer complained about a lack of police presence. In
defense of the Richmond police department we’ll say this. Having your
own police department is very important to a small town. It’s also very
expensive and difficult to hire enough people to man the department. To
our knowledge Richmond has two officers. Those two can’t be everywhere
all the time. With just two police officers the town has to have times
when there isn’t an officer on duty. There will be times when that officer is busy
with something and cannot return calls immediately (in cases of
emergency the officer would contact the sheriff’s department for
Police work involves a tremendous amount of paperwork as well.
Paperwork takes the officer off the street and puts him (her) behind a
desk; sometimes for hours at a time.
In a town with just two officers there are going to be circumstances
that leave the town without an on-duty policeman. Just the fact that
two people cannot provide on-duty time 24 hours a day/7 days a week is
something to be considered. Add to that vacation time, illness, and
personal matters, and you’ll have more off-duty time.
If you think there is a problem with police protection, or any other
issue concerning the city, talk to your city council. They are the
people responsible for the day-to-day issues of the city. This is true
in any city.
As far as we’re concerned we hope the cooperation between the cities of
Cold Spring and Richmond continues.
From the phone calls and what we’ve heard of the talk going around,
we’ve learned that there are a lot of others who would prefer letters
were signed so they know where they come from. That is still our policy
. . . we promise we’ll do everything we can to not waiver.
Have A Good Week!
Cold Spring Record Publisher