By Nikki Silverstein
Zero: Nine armed police officers and park rangers surrounded a crowd of 100 people at the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito last week. That’s a ratio of one gun-toting officer for every 11 people. Nope, you didn’t miss a campaign visit from Donald Trump. This show of excessive force was orchestrated by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) for an informational meeting on their proposed dog-management plan. We’re incredulous that any person who possesses the power of clear thinking would find it necessary to place nine armed officers and rangers at a small venue with a capacity of just 110 people. What was behind this public display of might? Did Christine Lehnertz, superintendent of the GGNRA, attempt to paint Marinites advocating to keep the status quo for dog-friendly areas as a dangerous bunch? Or, was she trying to intimidate the crowd that had assembled peacefully?
The GGNRA agreed that people were civil and there were no problems at all in each of the two meetings held in Sausalito; however, they refused to admit that posting armed guards was pointless and a waste of taxpayer money. “With circumstances around the world that are troubling, it makes sense to have security at public meetings,” said GGNRA spokesman Howard Levitt. Since we’re in America, not Syria, we find it troubling that the GGNRA would behave as if the public is the enemy. The insult of nine armed guards equals a big fat Zero for the GGNRA and Superintendent Lehnertz.
Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to [email protected]