The Norman Transcript

Letters

January 12, 2014

Let’s settle the debate (part of it)

(Continued)

NORMAN —

We, the firefighters, whom you call upon in your time of need, are asking — no, pleading — for you, the citizens, to remove us permanently from this complex debate. Our jobs are not leverage, or at least shouldn’t be.

We are not interested in holding the 71 families over your heads, coercing you to vote “yes” to spend more of your hard-earned money on more “stuff” that you don’t even know for sure that you need — all the while promoting good feelings by calling it “public safety.”

We are not interested in deciding public policy priorities, nor are we capable of such an endeavor. We merely desire to be good corporate citizens, serving and protecting this community — letting you and the politicians decide what our city’s needs are and how we are going to meet those needs.

Please help us do just that. Help us remove special interest (albeit our own) from this discussion; help us continue to provide the level of response and protection that you voted for (PSST I) and expect.

Treat our employees like all other city employees by making the funding source for their employment a permanent fixture (permanent half-cent tax) in the overall management scheme and budget.

We are not a special class of employees, nor are we second-class citizens; we are public servants, just like all other city employees, seeking to meet the growing needs of this thriving city.

So by all means, subject our uniformed personnel — those associated with PSST I — to the same sort of General Fund budgetary debate and public review as all other city employees.

We don’t want to be treated special because of this tax. We are special because we have the privilege of serving this great community. So, please, help us.

Help settle this turmoil. Offer all our employees the same level of certainty and security by demanding a permanent funding source for permanent employees.

Thank you.

MATT HART

Norman

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