Public safety dollars

Dear Editor:Is anyone on the City Council listening even a little bit? So many protest letters from citizens and newspaper editorials have been printed, and I hear nothing from members of the City Council or city manager to justify the hiring of a deputy city manager to be in charge of public safety. Does this mean that "they're gonna do what they're gonna do" regardless? If that's their message, I hear it loud and clear. We're talking a lot of money here. It's not just $315,000 for this year, it's obligating upwards of $3.15 million over the next 10 years and more thereafter. I can't imagine this new high-paid bureaucrat not having at least one "assistant" or "associate" in the not too distant future. What about a secretary? He couldn't be expected to share with someone, could he? My frustration on this is rising really fast. And after we've obligated all this money in future years and city tax income isn't sufficient, what happens then? Couldn't this apparently extra money be used on some pet project this year only so that it doesn't require any future funds? I think the City Council handled our tainted water scare quite well. At the time I thought they overreacted when issuing the boil-water instructions and closing restaurants in the whole city when only a few test areas tested positive, but I have since changed my mind. In our present litigation oriented society, that was exactly the right thing to do and if we had a public safety czar, it would be irresponsible for him to do differently. Now that we have obtained the reverse 911 system to get information to the citizens quicker, it seems that we're in fine shape. Let's keep these top level decisions concerning public safety a direct responsibility of the elected City Council members and not shift them to a non-elected deputy city manager. - Ralph Mains, Downey ********** Published: January 9, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 38