Oct 3 2016

Election: Council Candidate Sunny Bostrom-Fleming

Statement provided by City Council Candidate N. “Sunny”Bostrom-Fleming:

Piedmont is the 3rd richest town in America.  (Google 10 richest towns in America – Wall Street 24/7 USA Today, May 23, 2015).  We have enough wealth to be a small nation, and there are actually nine countries with populations less than ours.  There are probably 50 Piedmont citizens who have the telephone numbers of the U.S. President on speed dial.  As a rich, connected, educated entity we can do amazing things as long as they are ethical and legal.  Few cities in the world can.  We have no excuses for short sightedness or selfishness. Our schools and civic center for the arts, and religious organizations, and scouting programs, are inspiring.  The evidence of our labors is the character of our children.  Last year, over two hundred people of different faiths , age 15 – 18, traveled to Mexico and built 17 houses for needy families.  Last Sunday, a group of 5th graders raised $850.00 by selling lemonade to help end world slavery.

I am an idea person, and my ideas have already led to the enhanced safety of Piedmont.  I have lived in Piedmont most of my life, except while away traveling or at boarding school.  I am the only candidate that attended Piedmont Schools, and I a grateful graduate of Piedmont High School.  My own house was ransacked by a burglar, who stole among other thing, a velum of the gutenberg bible.  I thought about what could have been done to have prevented that.  The crime had increased approximately 40%, and I decided to run for city council to try to have cameras and license plate readers installed.  Although I fell short of the number of votes required to win, my ideas were promptly adopted and implemented by our excellent police force, under the direction of our superb chief of police and crime went down by 30%.  I hope that you will vote for me, so that I can continue to improve the safety of our city.  For example, our sidewalks are extremely hazardous.  All citizens have the right to the expectation of horizontal sidewalks.  Many of our walkways are severely buckled, largely because of the tree roots, some of which are ten inches thick.  These conditions are particularly evident on Seaview Avenue and Highland Avenue.  We all love trees. They add greatly to the beauty of our city, in addition to polishing the air.  But we can no longer risk the health and safety of our citizens.  It is also possible, that by not attending to this problem, the city can have legal repercussions.

The time has come for us to join the 900 other American cities and several nations, including England, that have banned Pitbulls (Google Pitbull attacks), and you will clearly see why.  Last week a Montclair woman was hospitalized after an attack, while gardening on her own property.  A Seaview Avenue woman that was walking a small dog, was terrorized by two large pit bulls, and rescued at the last moment.  These dogs have been shown on Youtube, climbing an eleven foot cyclone fence.  They are escape artist.  30% of the people that they kill and attack are their own owners.  Every two weeks, another person is mauled to death, and thousands others are disfigured with wounds.  A woman’s entire left arm was chewed off at the shoulder last week, and her right arm at the elbow.  A two year old girl was killed on September 24th.  There are two ways to handle this.  Before someone in our Piedmont family is tortured in this way or to grievously handle it afterwards.  The pit bulls have a short life expectancy of 7 to 8 years.  Existing dogs are neutered, microchipped, and tattooed with their name, and DNA swabbed, and must be insured by the owners, and must wear muzzles while outside of their homes.

Crime preventing measures can be divided into two main types.  Things that an individual household can do.  1.  Smart phone enabled recording cameras that will allow homeowners to view their home, with additional cameras facing the street, to assist the police in tracing perpetrators.  2.  Alarm systems connected directly to the police department, instead of to 3rd party commercial monitoring systems.  3.  Police departments themselves – we need to enable our police department to be able to retain license plate reading data, to assist with future cold case investigations.

Last month, a young woman was smashed in the head and face by a brick that was thrown through the wind screen of her police patrol vehicle.  Her injuries are grave.  Last month a 60 year old police officer was shot to death through the front wind screen of his patrol car.  Police cars have no more protection than that of a civilian car.  Recent occurrences would suggest to prudent and sympathetic hearts and minds that the time has come to change this.  I Googled used armored cars.  I was interested in finding out how much mint condition civilian styled armored cars would cost.  They are protected by light weight alloys, which add very little weight to the vehicles, and offer tremendous protection.  They cost between $20,000.00 and $50,000.00 each.  Piedmont has five police cars.  If ours cost $30,000.00, and sold them for $15,000, we would only have to pay a small amount for them to be protected.  The men and women of the Piedmont Police Department are willing to take a bullet for us during the day and while we sleep.  There was a day when body armor was thought of as an extreme degree of protection.  Everyone now sees the value of body armor.  Within 20 years, police cars will have bullet proof glass and armor as the norm.  It’s better to lead and err on the side of caution, as our department has been the leader on adopting city cameras and license plate readers.  We are dealing with city matters which involve $30 Million here, $100 Million there, converting 100% of our police vehicles is something that could possibly be done for $75,000.00, and save the life of one of our valued professionals.

I think that it would be a gracious and seemly act to change the name of the portion of Oakland Ave. that is within Piedmont to Ambassador Stevens Drive, to honor the son of a Piedmont family who represented America, and who lived and died to represent the best of American value, and “truly achieved the honorable.”  As a graduate of Piedmont High School, whose life fulfilled the motto “Achieved the Honorable.”  This would require the replacement of 24 street signs.  It would be wonderful if this could be done .  This would just require the installation or replacement of 24 street names signs.  It would be nice if this could be done, so that both of his parents could see this token of esteem that we have for their son.

One of the greatest things about attending Piedmont High School was experiencing the art on the walls of the high school. The walls were filled with framed reproductions of art from fine museums throughout the world.  There were hundreds of pictures and paintings.  I don’t know what happened to them.  When I was 14, I wrote a small book describing the location of each work of art, the history of the painting, and the history of the artist.  I had the privilege of attending very expensive schools, and I would never say that anything was as superb as the atmosphere of the art filled Piedmont High School.  I would be very anxious to do anything that I could as a member of the city council to promote the arts in the Piedmont School system, starting with grade school.

If you help to place me on the city council, I promise that I will devote all of my energies to funnel your ideas to building an even better Piedmont.

N. “Sunny” Bostrom-Fleming, Candidate for Piedmont City Council

Editors Note:  Opinions expressed are those of the candidate.  The Piedmont Civic Association does not support or oppose candidates for public office. 


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