Here are some deeply felt sentiments pertaining to the recent news about proposed manpower cuts in the Wilkes-Barre City Fire Department.
Citizens: You have one of the very best small city fire departments in the state, if not the entire country. They'll be where they're needed quickly, do what has to be done without hesitation, confine fire damage to the smallest possible area and save your life if that is what is required. This level of fire protection isn't easy, and it isn't cheap, but it's well worth maintaining.
Firefighters: You protect the city very well, but you are also part of the city, and when the city experiences hard times you must share the pain. If a temporary wage freeze will help the city, then you must accept one, especially if doing so will minimize department manpower cuts and keep your job as safe as humanly possible. For the sake of your families, and for the rest of the city, do not sell your personal safety for a 3 percent raise.
City Council: CouncilmanTony George has it right--one department should not bear the entire cost-cutting burden. He understands that fire protection will be weakened by extensive manpower reductions, and he doesn't hesitate to say so.
Mayor: You have worked hard to keep the city solvent. Be advised that the fire department has an institutional memory, and it wasn't all that long ago that a previous mayor wanted to close every fire station except headquarters. If it seems the firefighters don't trust you in negotiations, this is why. Keep trying.
Chief Delaney: Sorry you're caught in the middle of this, old friend. Follow your heart and do what's right, as you always have.
My friends and I are always talking about the big numbers for the Powerball game, and most of us are terrified of winning that kind of money. I mean, what would you even do with a half a billion dollars if you weren't already a billionaire and conversant with sums of that size? Banks only insure up to $100,000, so you would have to put the money in how many banks?
Look at past huge lottery winners and how they couldn't handle the money. It ends up being more a hassle than it's worth.
I say, give 500 people a million dollars, instead of one winner $500 million. A million is a nice sum that is easy to dispense. By the time you buy a new home, new car, pay off your bills, help your family, and give some to charity, it's gone. And there would be a very happy 500 people. C'mon, PA Lottery. Give it a shot. You might sell even more tickets.
Rob Burnside , CPT (ret.) W.B.F.D. Swoyersville Aleta Payne Wilkes-Barre