Stimulus available for police, fire needs

At first, watching the new city administration flap in the breeze was quite amusing, and I told myself to be patient and eventually all the high-minded promises made in the campaign would eventually start to kick in – after all, I had voted for the new mayor and supported his campaign.

After a few months, the mayor’s ineptness started to become apparent. It turns out he is merely an empty vessel. Time and again his poor judgment and despicable decision making has led the taxpayer down paths and through areas where we didn’t need to go.

Reducing the city’s fire protection by a full 21 percent to me is the last straw. In an economy that is down by less than 10 percent, the mayor’s vindictive assault on the ramparts of our city makes no sense at all.

Even the most average of our citizens know there is federal stimulus money available to cities big and small to maintain fire and police departments during these difficult times, and to get funding the mayor needs only to apply. Mr. Bayh, Mr. Lugar and Mr. Donnelly would jump to our side over such critical issues.

In the meeting with Fiat and federal officials, I wonder if the mayor made mention of the fact that he could offer only partial fire protection for their billion dollar investment.

Oh how I hope that at the next election an honest adult would throw his hat into the ring, and we could move on from the childish political maneuvering. Where are the Gilberts, the Sargents, the Trobaughs when we need them? Even in this light, Matt McKillip looks better than what we’ve got.

Ron Nutt

Kokomo

Government can run amuck if unchecked

Wake up, citizens. There’s a cancer growing in our nation, and it’s up to all of us to stop it.

According to the American Medical Association, cancer is defined as “an abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way.” Left unchecked, cancer reproduces or can metastasize within the body.

Have we ever thought of our government behaving as a cancer? Have we personally checked to see if our government is healthy – free of cancer? Until recently, I cannot say that I had. However, the last month has been an eye-opener as I witnessed city government perform its “duties” and saw with my own eyes how it compromised public safety without a blink.

Inequitable treatment of one group over another is not justified. Which makes me ask why is the city hiring more in police protection while leaving fire protection understaffed, according to NFPA 1710 regulations? Did you know that citizens pay higher insurance premiums when a community’s fire protection rating increases? If the annexation goes through, have you asked about what that means in terms of services that will be provided or not provided? Did you know that the Greentown Volunteer Fire Department has been called on many occasions to cover the ambulance service provided by the hospitals because they are busy? And Greentown, what does that mean to your community when the ambulance is unavailable for your needs? Finally, political pressure (not overt by any means) is used to immobilize those who disagree. And where are the checks and balances of this city government? Has government become uncontrolled? These are cancers that are festering in Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana.

What can you do? You must demand transparency in your government. You must demand accountability by asking for public documents that attest to the validity of decisions made. You must demand that the elected officials do what is right and not what the expected outcome should be – they are your voice and you elected them. Be very leery of councilmen’s comments such as being “hesitant to vote for anything lacking the city administration’s approval.” Ask what they were elected for then, if they can’t make decisions based on concrete, verifiable information. You must get involved. And you must not assume that your government has your best interest at heart.

As human beings, it is our responsibility to acquire the necessary means to keep our bodies healthy – free of cancer. As people of a society, it is also our responsibility to keep our governments healthy – free of disease that can harm us or worse. For is it not our government? We cannot sit back idly while others make decisions when the very platform they campaign upon is only lip service.

Dawn Johnston

Kokomo

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