October 15, 2010 in Letters, Opinion

Public safety cuts are a waste


Cutting firefighters and policemen is unconscionable. It jeopardizes the public safety city officials are sworn to uphold and protect.

In firing, they throw away the hundreds of thousands of dollars they have spent in developing these young people into safety professionals. These young men and women have spent many hours preparing for this career. They are dedicated to the job and to Spokane. If fired, they will have no choice but to look elsewhere for jobs, and Spokane loses well-trained firemen and policemen.

Balancing the budget takes sacrifices from everyone. Why not a wage freeze for all levels of the city? Raises and cost-of-living increases are very desirable but hardly required. The medical plan for everybody should be patterned closer to those plans in the private sector, where we pay a much higher portion of the premium. Why not close seldom-used or underutilized fire stations and other facilities? Stretch the existing asset rather than cutting out part of that asset.

Why not consider all the alternatives before firing well-trained and dedicated people? That is not cost cutting and budgeting, that is wasting a valuable asset.

Carl and Mary Sturm


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