Monday, January 25, 2010

Bruner says council's not discussing police layoffs tonight

The rumors about city council discussing police department layoffs tonight are, according to Ferndale City Manager Bob Bruner, untrue.

It is not on the agenda. It is not in an attachment. He does not plan to discuss it in his comments to council. He's aware of no plans a council person will make a motion to add it to tonight's agenda.

Rumors may have started after the city manager met with members of the police officers union Friday night to update them on the city's current financial pinch. A $3 million hole needs to be filled. No plans have been made, draft or otherwise (according to Mr. Bruner) that recommend the laying-off of police officers or firemen.

During the last election all the council candidates expressed their commitment to spare our public safety departments from personnel cuts. Housefires and violent crime in public parks and sweet-16 parties don't dip because a city's income dips. I know it was my promise during the campaign (but I'm the one with a bi-monthly column and Scott and Melanie are the votes on city council).

I encourage any resident that wishes to speak to council about the importance of any topic important to them to do so, especially regarding our police and fire departments. I believe it incumbent on citizens to voice their opinions more frequently than Novembers' first Tuesdays.

I also encourage them to attend city council meetings, especially when a topic near and dear to them is on the agenda.

However, I'm discouraged by attempts to manipulate the public with alarmist emails FB postings, and blogs. There's enough knee-jerking at the state and national level that we needn't imitate here in Ferndale.

Remember to check the facts before forwarding an email or trusting the guy asking you to send him money is a Nigerian prince seeking your aid to recover his family's lost $ millions.