To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the letter by Mr. John Weddle on Nov. 13, 2012, about nothing changing.
I am getting tired of people running down our mayor and elected officials.
We are supposed to be an intelligent society.
I have worked in politics most of my life with Mayor Chalos, as a police officer and a correctional officer.
The people should know that when a new mayor takes office, they are bound by the last city budget passed by the last mayor and council.
The mayor must wait until they can propose their own budget and it is passed, as was just done, but still must wait until the budget takes effect.
The people have become so complacent and take services for granted, but it does not work that way.
In the 1980s, to pave a one block city street was around $30,000.
Now, due to rising costs, one block can cost $100,000, or more.
Also, Mayor Pickett put blacktop over brick streets, even though I, and others, told him not to, he did any way.
Brick will move by expanding and contracting, due to cold and heat, thus causing black top to crack and break up.
Only concrete should be used to patch brick streets, as to tear up all bricks and re-do streets properly would cost well over $175,000 or more.
The cost for materials to use patch work equipment is also very expensive.
The federal government is stopping federal grants cities could request for urban development, sidewalks, street resurfacing, new gutters, etc.
Then, the state does not return tax money and gas tax money to cities in a timely manner and not in equal proportions based on population of city.
The people expect snow removal, salt and sand in the winter, as well as other services, but there will never be enough money to do everything.
There are solutions, like raising taxes, annexation, increasing present charges we now pay, but all of these with other ideas will be met with group opposition against any such solutions.
We have a great fire department and dedicated men, same with the police department.
But people disagree with this.
I say, move to Los Angeles, Detroit, Miami, etc., where gangs take over neighborhoods, harass and threaten small merchants for protection money, where it is not safe day or night to walk or be outside, and drive-by shootings are part of every day life.
I'll finish by saying it is time we all be grateful for what we do have, what we can afford to be done and see as citizens if we can help by volunteering to paint curbs, do minor things to help the city and all living here.
Together, the people can do more than the city alone.
Forrest Swan (Swampy),