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 with 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?

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. sandblower says:

    Janet, did you vote against the bottle tax and the tax on high income earners?
    What about increasing revenue just a little?

  2. tree_guy says:

    Janet, your letter started off pretty good but sort of spiraled out of control beginning with the fourth paragraph.

    I was in general agreement until you started talking about garbage collection, human rights, incarceration, composting, health awareness, parks, cultural programs, destinies, roads, federal grants, pedestrians, cash, cyclists, etc., etc., etc.

    It seems to me that a successful letter to the editor will contain a topic sentence, some supporting evidence and a conclusion. I could be wrong.

  3. gottaroof says:

    sandblowers comment makes me wonder who they work or for whom, more taxes!! get real. Janets comments though random in text are true.Community programs are being cut, and these programs do offer adults, teens and kids things to do.Every parent knows that bored kids tend to get into trouble, we as citizens of tacoma have a responsibility to provide opportunities to for others to entertain themselves, thats why our past leaders created all of these parks and other outlets such as libraries. We all see kids in the summer time hanging out on corners, looking bored, vandilism, graffitti all increase during the summer as bored kids try to find something to do. Nobody wants to take pay cuts, less hours or early retirements, but our city leaders act like they don’t know what to do and I say replace them all with some young kids out of college with economic degrees and business degrees and let them make cuts as needed.

  4. Janet, I don’t think you have a full grasp of the facts here. The fire fighters have already given up their cost of living raises twice in the last 3 years. They are not even staying even with the economy. These men and women already risk their lives for us now you want them to give up even more out of “goodness of their hearts”. how much more do you want their families to sacrifice?
    Also they have gone to great trouble to have their department accredited. This will let them know that the coverage is adequate for the community. To cut them any more would loose that good standing. I don’t believe that would add to the public safety as you suggest. It takes more out of the budget because it is one of the primary purposes of our government and yet it is always the first place they look to cut. This was caused by mismanagement and a lack of understand of how our economy works. There are lots of high paying jobs in our government. Some of them put us in this position. Lets cut their saleries!

  5. philichi says:

    This is going on all over over the county. I am sorry fire men, the whole county is having trouble affording you. Check out San Diego, they voted to cut pensions. They love their firemen, they just can’t afford them at this price. We’ll be there next.

  6. hansgruber says:

    Janet, it’s my understanding the police haven’t had a raise in the last 3 years, have reduced their manpower by 11.5% (That’s 46 less police)

    Many misdemeanor and some felony crimes are not being investigated because crime is starting to go back up because of less officer couple with the poor economy.

    The Fire Dept has reduced it’s manpower 9.6% (That’s 37 positions)

    Sure, lets cut salaries, but you know it funny? I live in the city and my property taxes value dropped over $70,000 in last few years but my actual taxes have gone up! Funny how the city keeps saying their property tax “revenues” are down!

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