Something happened yesterday in Bossier City.
Despite encouragement from some quarters to send the mayor and council a message by voting no on the Police & Fire tax renewal, the voters of Bossier City gave the proposition a landslide vote of ‘yes’.
In 2000, when the city was not having financial problems, the tax was approved by 73% of the voters. This year, when the city is having budgetary problems, 80% of the people who voted said yes.
This sends a message to the mayor and council, but it’s not one of approval of anything that they have done. Rather, the people are saying ‘we support our Firemen and Police officers and you’d better not mess with them’.
New police chief Shane McWilliams has stated that boosting morale was his first and most important job. The people of Bossier City just stepped up and gave him a big assist.
Sometimes the mayor and council just don’t appear to get it. When you lay off firemen and policemen and cut the budgets of those departments, people are alarmed. When you then give the mayor a raise, people start to get angry.
When you institute a hiring freeze people understand.
When you immediately break the freeze to hire someone in the mayor’s office, people get a little bit angrier.
They don’t seem to get it. The people of Bossier City, however, do get it.
The firemen and policemen get it too; they understand fully the message that the citizens were sending.
From one of the policemen who barely escaped the ax last fall, ‘Thank you Bossier City’.
From another police officer: ‘To all 3700 of the people who voted "yes" for the millage tax renewal today in order to save our police, firemen, and EMTs.... Thank you. To all of the 911 people who voted no, we're still gonna be there to help you out when you need it.’