A community activist in Muncie whose two firefighter brothers died in the line of duty many years ago says the mayor's announced plans to lay off 40 firefighters because of a budget shortfall is "pretty dirty." Call me a cynic, but I agree with him. Just consider that this isn't an isolated case but part of a trend:
It is not surprising in the face of reality of the economy and revenue shortfalls that all communities are facing," said Hiatt.
Just this week, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight announced plans to lay off 12 firefighters in an effort to compensate for a $2.5 million budget deficit. Manpower on that city's fire department is 121, compared to Muncie with 110.
Cities across the country are laying off municipal workers, with New York proposing to cut 3,742, and Chicago looking at 1,100 layoffs if officials there don't get concessions from unions, according to a Pew Charitable Trust research initiative.
When things are flush, government finds inventive way after inventive way to waste our money, adding layers of bureacracy and unneeded services and feel-good nonsense. But when times are tough, do they cut these frivolities? No, they go right to essential services, threatening cuts to police and firefighting forces? Why? To scare the public and whip up support to increase taxes instead of cut spending.