Friday, June 22, 2007

After decades of talking about it, the city finally has a gang -- what? Boss? Emperor? Overlord? Call him anything but Czar. According to Rev. Jeff Carr, a Czar is a guy who is forcibly retired in front of a firing squad. Can't fault him for the analogy.

It'll be interesting to see how much horsepower he'll be given and what precisely will he do. At this point, nobody seems to know. The old dictum is that he who holds the purse strings wields the power. But it's not clear if he'll have control of doling out funds to intervention programs or pulling the plug on them if they crash and burn like No Guns.

From everything we've heard so far, his position is that of advisor to the Mayor. Which doesn't sound like an executive position. He's the go-to guy when the Mayor needs to decide on gang issues. This is probably not the way the office should have been organized but the rumor is that Carr was picked more for his ability to solicit grants from public and private sector sources than any actual gang intervention capabilities. We'll see.