A responsible vote

While everyone claims to be in favor of more funding for the police department, a few vocal residents contradict that claim with a variety of misstatements which may be summarized as “I am in favor of anything that doesn’t cost any money.” There are too many of these misstatements to refute in one letter, but I want to address a few of them.

First, although Mr. Laird claims to have done extensive research into the city’s finances, he chooses to ignore the fact that a significant percentage of the city’s revenue is restricted to a specific purpose and therefore is not available for police operations. He also presents an impressive array of charts, but the mixture of actual/budget/revenue/expense numbers makes it impossible to accurately compare the figures and thus makes the analysis meaningless.

Second, several opponents have complained that because in 2007 the city did not participate in the county public safety tax, we should not pass this proposal. Those funds are simply not available to us now, and no one is disputing that those funds are being spent appropriately by the county. Similarly, whether or not it was prudent for the county to build their two new buildings recently, COUNTY funds were used, and those funds would not be available for the city police even if the buildings had not been built.

Finally, the ballot language could not be more clear that the new funds must be used for public safety, and funding for public safety must remain at least 43% of the general fund. This proposal will not shift funding to other priorities; it will increase funding for our most important priority.

A YES vote on 2A is a responsible vote for our city’s future.

Jean Deneen


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