A lot has been said pro and con about the tax renewal election coming up on May 1st. Citizens need to keep in mind that it is a renewal of a tax that was received a favorable vote 10 years ago, and it is dedicated to police and fire operations.
What it comes down to is that if it is not passed, approximately $3,000,000 per year will be cut from the public safety budget. On top of a 13% cut that came at the first of the year, most observers feel that this would effectively cripple the fire and police departments.
I spoke to Duke Lowrie earlier this week. Duke just retired this month from the Bossier City Fire Department and had this to say:
As a retired firefighter who walked the sreets in 1990, 2000 and one who would have walked the sreets even today under the circumstances, I would simply ask when will the fire and police be able to stop walking the streets? Will public safety officers always be responsible for ensuring funding of public safety in Bossier? I believe the citizens of Bossier expect to have strong public safety, and deserve it without strings attached!
That's a pretty powerful statement - 'Will public safety officers always be responsbile for ensuring funding of public safety in Bossier?'.
People are very unhappy with government at all levels, and rightfully so. The thing that we have to realize, however, is that not all government is bad and some taxes are necessary. Government does have legitimate functions and public safety is one of them.
Like it or not, the citizens of Bossier City are caught between a rock and a hard place. One thing is certain, and that is if this tax is not renewed there will be very bad consequences.
As a side note, we will be talking more about Lowrie. His retirement plans include a run for the State House seat being vacated next year by Jane Smith, who is term limited.