Tuesday's column had a few things to say about elected officials who claim they know what ought to be done about inflation but think action shold be deferred.
They're afraid that if they come out for or against a proposed action they might lose a few votes, so they want nothing done until after the election.
I'm glad these fine people are not doctors or firefighters. Can you imagine your doctor telling you that you are badly in need of some medicine and by golly he's going to write you a prescription for it just as soon as he finds the time perhaps in January of 1981?
The other scenario would have a fireman saying, "That's a mighty small fire you've got there, nieghbor. One bucket of water would probably put it out, I don't want to take a position on that point right now so let's just let 'er burn until after the election, and then I'll bring around a bucket of water and we'll get right to work on your fire with it." Of course if he waits until after the election he might as well stick his head in that bucket of water for all the good it's going to do anybody.
Well, so much for the wonderful people who ask for our support at the polls in November.
Today I'd like to take a look at some public servants we can't even vote against. Twenty days ago, an enterrising gunman began holding up people in a National Airport parking lot. Because the left hand didn't get around to sending teletype messages to the right hand for too many hours, four holdups were perpetrated in the space of a few hours before the various police jurisdictions involved began communicating with each other.
The last of the four victims was John Forrister of Woodbridge. He reported his holdup to police without delay and described the car taken from him.
That was on Feb.19. A week later, on Feb.26, a friend of a friend spotted Forrister's car, legally parked. The friend called the police, alas!
Why "alas"? Because if he had called Forrister, John could have picked up his car and had no further problems.
Instead, the police towed the car away. Then, says Susan Forrister, the Airport Police phoned and told her the car had been found "in drivable condition" and had been towed "to the city lot on Powhatan for 'processing,' and we should have it back in a day or two."
That call came from "Dectective Laconia of the Airport Police" on Feb. 26.
"On Thursday," Susan says, "my husband was interviewed by Special Agent Lofton of the FBI, who told him the FBI had removed the rear view mirrors, radio knobs and other 'personal items' for analysis, and that when the FBI was through with the car, we could have it back. He gave us a different address for the location of the car.
"On Friday morning, we called Detective Laconia. We called again, later on Friday morning, and were told that Laconia was off for two days. We then talked to Detective Ford, who said he would try to get the car released and get back to us. He did not call back, so we called him late in the afternoon. He told us he couldn't get the car released but he would like to come out to our house on Saturday with some pictures of suspects. We have heard nothing from either Detective Ford or Detective Laconia since that time.
"On Monday, we were finally able to get the car released -- and it would cost us only $34 for towing plus $3 a day storage charges from the date of the seizure of the automobile. We were told that the car was in a city lot, and that payment should be made to the City of Alexandria. The gentleman with whom we spoke, James Rodney, said the mirrors and other things removed by the FBI were not back yet, but we could have the car in an 'as is' condition, provided we paid the money due. We then called Detective Laconia to tell him the car had been released. He hadn't been notified. "Inasmuch as it isn't legal to drive without rear view mirrors," added Susan, she hasn't picked up the car. So 20 days after the car and John Forrister's wallet were stolen, he still doesn't have his car back, and the public serrvants who decided to tow his car away instead of letting him come after it himself are now demanding that he pay a towing fee plus $3 a day for the privilege of being deprived of his vehicle because the parts taken by the FBI "were not back yet."
Susan Forrister is reminded of Woody Guthrie's comment, "Some men rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen."
For goodness' sake, gentlemen, what kind of public service is this?
Is it really necessary for public officials to be so contemptuous of the rights of honest citizens, or so oblivious to their feelings?
Suppose it had been Fbi Director William H. Webster's car? Would he have been subjected to this treatment? Would he have been forced to pay $64 for the privilege of being deprived of his property without due process?