Thursday, April 22, 2010

Retired Firefighter speaks out on Tax Renewal

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.

11 comments:

  1. I agree that we need to renew the tax on May 1, because if we keep losing Policemen and Firemen, we are going to really be in a line of hurt. These guys put their lives on the line for us each day and night. The political part of this makes you ashamed of the people in office that is supposed to be taking care of the city. Is this their way of doing so, laying off the very departments we most desperately need? Let's vote yes on May 1st, and let it be known that we do not want to lose our protection, because if you don't vote yes, you may be the one who is going to need their services and there will be none. This tax renewal helps keep police and firemen on the job protecting our city. They help us when we need them, so let's show the same courtesy. Taxes will always be, but this is one tax we need to renew to keep the safety we need to fight crime and save the community.

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  2. Lets vote yes on May 01, 2010 only with the assurance that there will be no layoffs or pay cuts. The rumor is that regardless of this passing of failing there will be a pay cut for fire and police employees

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  3. I agree that there should be no pay-cuts for the Police Officers or Firemen either. Let's vote yes and keep the officers of both departments paid for the services they provide for us.I feel that when someone puts their life each day on the line for me as they do, their services are worth every dime. Let's help keep their jobs.

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  4. A.Continental.FarmerApril 23, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    I agree that we need police and fire to protect our city and citizens. Protecting the citizens is the primary role of any government.

    That being said, the shortfall in public safety funding is due to mismanagement of the city budget by the mayor and city council.

    So, while we vote to renew the tax, we also need to keep in mind that it was caused poor money management and excessive spending.

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  5. Correct. We need to renew the tax and not forget who screwed this up in the first place, the Mayor and the City Council. Don't punish the Police and Fire Fighters, punish the Mayor and City Councilmen by not re-electing them!

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  6. I'm not sure on this yet, but will probably vote yes.

    It is my understanding that the recent staff cuts involved some already vacant city positions anyway - at least that's per a google search of the S'port Times.

    Does anyone have any data to backup an increase of crime since the staff cuts? Just because a bank was robbed =/ an increase in crime overall.

    I support the BCPD for the most part, but I also want to see some budget cuts for un-necessary spending. Anyone have have any hard facts on the budget expenditures?

    Rex Moncrief
    www.conservativedrink.com

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  7. Hmm - just found an excellent article that I suggest everyone review as well:

    Support city property tax renewal
    Written by Marty Carlson

    Just leaned an inch closer to yes after reading that.

    Rex Moncrief
    www.conservativedrink.com

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  8. That was a great article. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. It would appear that the police and fire administrators are doing there best to get there employees out and push this vote. My question is where does the fire and police chief live? It's always easy to ask someone else to pay something when you don't have to. Also with the water rates going up the way they are going to, no way I am voting for this. Excellence in the public safety area? Have you watched the news? Bossier is getting to be a real expensive place to live and I'm not getting enough for my money

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  10. "It would appear that the police and fire administrators are doing there best to get there employees out and push this vote."

    The police and fire administrators do not have to get their employees to get out and push the vote. The friends and families of the police and fire departments are doing it on their own. We will be the ones who have to deal with losing an income and our spouses looking for a new job. Possibly evening having to move from a city we love so much. You may feel that the city is not worth what you are being asked to pay but the police and fireman do not agree. While you are complaining about continuing to pay a tax that already exists our loved ones are still going out there everyday and putting their lives on the line. The citizens of Bossier City can not afford more layoffs in these departments. It's truly sad to see that some citizens do not appreciate what the men and women of these departments do from them everyday. Most of which never makes it onto the new or into the papers.

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  11. Rex, I'm glad you put the link to Marty's column. She is very well informed and well worth reading.

    Anon at 9:01 AM - ""Also with the water rates going up the way they are going to, no way I am voting for this."

    First, it's sewer rates, and secondly why don't you let your opposition be known to that increase? It has nothing at all to do with the police and fire department funding.

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