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Letters from Aug. 22, 2007
CKFR merger It doesnt make sense
The feasibility study recommending the mergers of Central Kitsap, South Kitsap and the Bremerton Fire departments pose significant financial questions. Assuredly, our fire service heroes deserve the best pay possible for the life-saving work they do. However, financial efficiency and reduction in operating costs must be the priority.
The study recommends $750,000 in across-the-board salary increases for the three organizations as soon as they merge. Additionally, new salary schedules will have to be negotiated when this new mega-organization is approved. Because fire departments base salaries on the number of employees, salaries will, of necessity, increase. Therefore any savings realized by cooperative purchasing or scales of economy will be negated by hugely increased salary and personnel costs. Where will new funding come from? Simply merging the tax revenues of the organizations will not magically increase the available dollars. The study recommends 13 executive positions in the new organization. The average fire chief in Kitsap County makes approximately $130,000 per year. Why will we need 13 of these executives?
Last year I voted in favor of Central Kitsap Fire & Rescues levy lid-lift to repair leaking fire station roofs and replace aging fire trucks. Have these capital expenditures been completed? If they have not, why are elected officials squandering financial resources on feasibility studies? Bigger government has never resulted in cost savings. Smaller, more affordable, locally controlled fire departments make more sense and reduce costs.
Fair & Stampede: The rodeo has a dark side
It is that time of the year where we all like to go to the rodeo, but for all the thrills and excitement, there is a dark side to this business.
The sad fact is both the animals and the participants are often injured in the name of entertainment. Calf roping, steer wrestling and bronco riding often result in injuries to the animal. The ever-popular bull riding can be just as harsh, injuring both animal and rider.
As a society, we should rethink our acceptance of a rodeo culture and look for entertainment which harms neither man nor animal.
PAWS of Bremerton