Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Make cuts where most is spent

Letter by Janet Higbee, Tacoma on July 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm | 6 Comments »
July 20, 2012 5:00 pm

Re: “Tacoma may drop pothole project” (TNT, 7-12).

Given Tacoma’s budget, it seems unjust that libraries, human rights, community development and public works have endured cuts while police and fire departments consume the bulk of our budget, 61 percent, and “other services” take 20 percent.

Could money be saved if taken from where most is spent? We admire police and fire workers because they offer their lives in the line of duty; in this spirit, they should sacrifice financially. Despite their unions, they should show solidarity.

Also, the city needs to modernize its personnel policies. Employees who earn disproportionate salaries should accept cuts, shorter work weeks or early retirement. To preserve services, positions should be matched to skills, not seniority.

Children need their libraries and pools. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists require roads. Making no potholes, pedestrians and cyclists do not destroy our streets; infrastructure for active transportation is relatively cheap and brings federal grant monies. Cultural programs must be encouraged for our enlightenment. To prevent crime, human rights must be upheld. As well, parks must be maintained. Green areas are essential for native species, pollution relief and health. It’s fair to say that investing in these deters incarceration and disaster, destinies that we don’t desire.

Efforts to reduce our transport of waste to the dump, and in the future, Graham, (eventually elsewhere, but hopefully not) need to be supported. Apartments, businesses, restaurants and schools must participate in recycling and composting. Can we afford to toss our cash in the trash?

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