Op-Ed from Mayor Steve Phillips

Published 7:40 pm Friday, April 1, 2022

Hello from Rutledge Alabama, where the speed limits are a suggestion. If you want to obey them that is pretty much up to you.

Let me tell you a story I received a phone call from one of our bus driver’s asking me if I could help with a problem they had. The problem is that they have to pull out on Highway 10 where there is a curve and a hill. It turns out that vehicles are speeding and you cannot see far enough to pull out safely.

Well, I called the Sheriff and explained the problem he assured me he would have someone over there the next day. Instead he leaves me a letter with what the town can do to stop the problem starting with the statement that he was unable to keep deputies in the town of Rutledge constantly.

Let’s be clear, I wasn’t asking for all day deputies just between 7:15 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. I really didn’t think I was being unreasonable and I wasn’t asking for myself it is for the protection of the children. It did not seem like too much to ask to protect 40 children.

Instead I received a memo from the Sheriff with recommendations and the statement he cannot not keep a deputy over there all the time. He recommended cutting the bushes back to increase visibility (they are on private property), and also buy two signs to tell people to slow down (I thought that was what a speed limit sign did).

Also, he arranged for DOT to be over there. My guess is it took longer to write the memo than it would have to send a deputy or call the troopers and ask for help. This is not just a Rutledge problem, talk to some of the bus driver’s people who are going around the stop signs on the buses.

Okay, I understand the Sheriff’s office is short on Deputies; this has been a constant. But I noticed our taxes have not gone down in relation to the number of deputies we have.

I have some advice for the sheriff’s candidates: You know at the beginning of the fiscal year what your budget is. You have to learn to stretch it where you can. If you are able to take responsibility for your department and their actions, then you understand accountability and responsibility. We need a sheriff who is going to work with what he has available and adapt to changing needs.

Also just a reminder about Delange Harris and Earl Cosby; 2110 days since Earl Cosby’s murder and 3980 days since Delange Harris’s murder. And still no justice. I don’t believe we are close on either case but God willing there will one day be justice for the families.

** The above opinion is solely that of the writer and does not indicate or represent the opinion of The Luverne News Journal.