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What is it Worth: Part 2

By Joe Joe Wright

You know sometimes when you make a statement or push a certain agenda, one might have tendency to let it go and stop. I really don’t see that as a possibility. I also don’t like people to throw out problems without offering any suggestions on how to fix the problem. So here we go.

Let us assume for the moment that we decide to give our Law Enforcement and other emergency first responders a healthy, well deserved raised. First question out of the gate by everyone is how do we pay for it? Many proponents of the consolidation movement would suggest that by joining the city and county together, as so many have done nationwide, would reduce waste and make all agency’s streamlined, proficient, and by doing so allow for increases in government salaries.  I am not saying that this is the answer.  It is however, one possible solution to at least some local governmental problems. Next in line would be the land and home owners in the city and county.  They will be screaming that they are about to get hit with huge millage rate increases to fund this raise and let’s be honest, if not for alternatives, that is exactly where the albatross would land on their back. That, of course, is not fair by anyone’s standards. So by no means would I suggest let’s dump something else on the property owners.  Also, I don’t believe in just handing out money.  There should be some accountability and education attached to such significant spending.  A system would need to be revamped to include officers with associate degrees, BS degrees, in-service training, time on job experience, rank, and/ or basic, intermediate or advanced officer training levels.  All of these things should be apart of any advancements in pay. Again, how do we pay for the increase without sticking a big rate hike to the taxpayers.

1. SPLOST money cannot be used for salaries, but laws were made to be changed and I for one can see where this is an area that certainly needs exploring.

2. A slight 10% increase in fines and forfeitures

3. If consolidation took place, it would also create a savings in synergies among all the departmental agencies.

There certainly are some other ways by which to accomplish this particular mission. Governments across the nation hold fundraisers, and this is not really a new concept but one that has been around for years.

4. Another way to raise money for specific salaries is to have a tax, of say 10.00 or so, on every building on a property to be used specifically for pay of our professional first responders.  The bottom line is with just a little work and creativity the money needed can be raised. It is a never-ending cycle because certain things will follow. If we get our professional services pay where it should be, then we will certainly be in position to bring in higher paying industrial jobs. This job growth will in turn spur house building and growth and a larger more diverse tax digest by which to fund our infrastructure needs and it will become self-sustaining.

OH!!!! That it was all that simple, but really it can be. It takes cooperation between all parties and that means that everyone is on the same accord and not individuals with separate agendas. Yes! Together it can be accomplished! We must never begin to assume that all is well and good and that those are the other people’s problems.

If you live here in Cordele and Crisp County, this is your problem. One way or the other, this issue will be resolved. We cannot under any circumstance believe that it will get better without action. So get involved and ask questions. Offer suggestions on how to fix these problems. You may offer a suggestion and it gets shot down. That’s when you, have to brush yourself off, dig in, and ask another question and offer another suggestion. Don’t ever just quit. Our community needs everyone from 6 to 96 involved in the betterment of our home.

We should, as I see it, leave the rest of the country to their problems, because they are not ours. We have no business worrying about how Flint River, Michigan, is going to fix their water problems. We need to fix our problems and one of the biggest is the salaries of our emergency personnel. Another is paving more roads and another is trash dumped illegally. There is a laundry list of Cordele-Crisp County problems, and we can fix them.  I don’t believe we should be concerning ourselves with the 100 billion in California debt. Let’s work on our issues!!!

Any ideas?