After reading a recent letter to the editor interpreting the town’s budget, let’s get the facts right. Yes, he’s right, the town’s admin budget decreased, despite cries that the town spends too much. The town has only half the employees compared to 10 years ago, but a population increase of over 13 percent. Really?
As to MCSO costs, we should have policing 24/7. Doing that math, in a week that’s 168 hours, police hours equals four-plus police. So, how many police does it take to cover 25 square miles at one time? And four detectives – they really do more than just solve murders! What about domestic violence, burglary, property damage? Oh, we don’t need a “captain” in charge? Do you really know what police are actually doing?
Fire department response time is the issue. “Three miles between fire stations” actually facilitates coverage on the far side of those stations. Want a response time under five minutes? Think twice about a single station or being without the crews to respond to simultaneous events.
But you’re right, on average, less than one in 10 calls are fires; the rest are for medical or other emergencies. But emergencies are not scheduled at certain times of day! A fire truck is a three-person job; ambulance is a two-person job. You want one fire truck, one ambulance and one station in town for 24,000 people, 15,000 homes and businesses, with 27 gated communities? Really?
Yes, the town is saddled with helping pay the pension problems of MCSO. As is every community that contracts with MCSO. But the town has negotiated with MCSO, just like it has with Rural Metro. Despite what is alleged, our town is paying attention to staffing, needs and responsibilities. Everyone should pay attention or ask questions to find the right answers. Really!