The Herald News story has the Mayor's spokesperson saying that the Mayor and his financial team are tyring to save as many jobs as possible. This has me believing that the cuts will likely be less severe than we are hearing.
Still what will be the impact of all these layoffs?
Look, I've played sim city trust me when I tell you what will happen if you cut
police and fire, your tax base will shrink, houses will burn! - from a
conversation I've recently had
Let's be honest, Fall River is a city with problems and challenges. Our police department has its hands full with gang issues, drugs, and the types of crimes that go with it. Our fire department is challenged by the city itself! Fall River is a tapestry of congested neighborhoods filled with 100 year old wood structures, with balloon construction, that practically touch. The mills that once made this city an economic power house contain timbers soaked with machine oil, making them gigantic prestone logs!
“One thing that concerned me,” Saucier said, “is no one had an answer on
what’s the number of police and firefighters they can lay off before you can no
longer provide adequate protection to citizens.- Fall River Herald News
How will this impact public safety and how will this impact the safety of the men and women who serve our city?
What of the public outrage over the city's rat problem? Is that likely to get better with cuts to our DPW? You practically need a jeep to get over the rutted pot hole filled streets now, is this likely to get better?
Now, I do feel some sympathy for our Mayor. The current budget situation is not an easy one. But laying off people is not the answer. It's time to consider innovate ideas and to scrutinize city government to see where we can save money. It's time to consider a moderate increase in taxes because the city needs revenue and as citizens we need the city services that are going to be impaired.
Lefty's View: The old saying goes 'desperate times call for desperate measures', but desperate times call for real leadership. Real leadership is not just about making difficult decisions it's about coming up with difficult solutions. As a citizen I urge the Mayor to go back to the drawing board and look for ways to close the budget gap without destroying city services. Certainly there has got to be a better solution than drastic pay cuts or drastic layoffs.