A lot has been said about the cuts in fire and police protection in Bossier City, and in the next couple of months a lot more will be said. A lot of people are very unhappy about the cuts and about the way the city has been managed; some people are saying that because of this perceived mismanagement, they will not vote for the tax renewal on May 1.
Think about this seriously. As to managing or mismanaging, that is for the people to decide. You are very upset now but where were you 8 months ago? This problem has been building, but last spring Bossier City had an election and the people who are now howling were strangely silent. The only person to get into a city race against an incumbent was in the at-large council race, where Marsha McAllister put in a bid for one of the two seats currently held by David Montgomery and Tim Larkin. One of her themes was the budget and Bossier City’s financial crisis. She received 20% of the vote and both incumbents were returned to office.
In District 5 incumbent Dr. James Rogers stepped down, and James “Chubby” Knight was elected to fill the seat.
Mayor Lo Walker was unopposed.
Councilman Scott Irwin was unopposed.
Councilman Jeff Darby was unopposed.
Councilman David Jones was unopposed.
Some of you are calling for their heads now, but 8 months ago it was your responsibility to give them a report card and pass or fail them, and you gave them straight A’s – across the board.
Come down to reality, the fiscal situation is what it is. It is time to get past the blame game and face the future in an intelligent manner. You didn’t care anything about accountability half a year ago, so you’re going to have to wait another 3½ years to deal with it.
In the meantime, the choice is simple. You can vote for the fire and police tax renewal on May 1st, not a new tax but renewal of a current one, and keep police and fire levels at the already cut current levels, or you can vote no to the renewal and probably cause a lot of problems for the city in the very near future.
In addition, the increases in contributions to the Police retirement fund will create another shortfall that could dictate even more layoffs. The council needs to step up and deal with this in some manner, and you need to let them know where you stand.
Remember the old adage, if you are pointing a finger at someone you have three more pointing back at you.
Bossier City has some really great firefighters and police officers, men and women who sincerely love the city and the people in it, and who work selflessly to serve. They have your back, and they trust that you have theirs.
If you are not willing to pay them, then quite frankly you don’t deserve them. It’s your decision.