Don’t Cut Firefighters, Police

Editor, News-Register:

This is an open letter to the Wheeling mayor, city manager and to Council. With all the talk about reducing the number of firefighters in the city of Wheeling, I must put in my two cents’ worth. It seems to me that when a city or town “must” cut back, it is always the fire department or the police department. This practice is ludicrous. Correct me if I’m wrong, though aren’t the fire departments understaffed as it is now? Did the city not recently add a tax? Is there not oil and gas money in the picture now?

I tend to hear many say that the city is losing population and that should be taken into account concerning the size of the fire department personnel. I don’t see the size of the city in square miles reducing, so the prior argument is null and void. There are other departments that should be the first to be cut. For instance, why do we need a mayor and a city manager? Should it not be one position? You can’t find a qualified person to do both jobs? Why are the department heads getting bigger raises than the actual workers doing the work? I’m not saying the same wages, just the same percentage of increases!

I know people on the fire department and the police department. On all accounts, these two departments are the finest in the state and some of the finest in the country. I suggest you reconsider this cut and put your heads together and do the hard choices of finding other ways of streamlining. Hell, it’s what you’re paid to do!

Kurt Speaker

Wheeling