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View Poll Results: Should the Library and Parks Budget be cut further to increase the Police and Fire Budgets in Fairfa
Yes, the Library funding should be cut to the bone 0 0%
All County Departments should cut their budget the same 10 71.43%
There should be no budget cuts for Police and Fire 4 28.57%
No Opinion 0 0%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-20-2009, 08:35 AM
 
943 posts, read 3,144,385 times
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In Fairfax County the politics are hot and heavy this week at our County Supervisors are making the final decisions about the 2010 Fiscal Year Budget. I understand that the lobby for the Police and Fire Departments are angry about proposed budget cuts in their departments and want money put back in. Where would the money come from? Libraries and Parks. Advocates for increased spending for Police and Fire say that the budget for Parks and Libraries should be cut further so the Police and Fire budget is saved.

What do you think?
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Springfield
2,765 posts, read 8,284,143 times
Reputation: 1112
IMO Police and Fire are essential priority #1 services, so don't cut them.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,597 posts, read 77,136,154 times
Reputation: 19056
I'd be willing to stomach paying a higher monthly rent to offset my complex paying higher property taxes in order to ensure there is adequate police/fire coverage at all times. Parks and libraries are important as well, but I'd rather have fewer books available to read, reduced library operating hours, and less pretty parks in favor of knowing that if an intruder was in my home while I was huddled under my bed calling 911 that an officer would respond momentarily. I can still recall being rear-ended getting off of a local highway off-ramp back in mid-2006 when the SUV behind me failed to stop for the flashing red light I was stopped at. I called 911 to report the accident, and the operator told me if there were no injuries to just exchange insurance information because there were no officers available or on-duty at that time to come to file a police report. Now, what would happen if instead of a car accident I had called 911 to report someone wielding a gun at the nearby Wal-Mart?!

You should NEVER sacrifice your public safety budget.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:14 PM
 
8,555 posts, read 9,018,706 times
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That flashing red light, if I'm not mistaking, is on at rush hour and is for merging traffic. You had a fender bender, not a life or death issue and as such a 911 call was not necessary. If someone had a gun to your head during rush hour the cops would have rushed to your aid because that is a life and death situation.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,597 posts, read 77,136,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmking View Post
That flashing red light, if I'm not mistaking, is on at rush hour and is for merging traffic. You had a fender bender, not a life or death issue and as such a 911 call was not necessary. If someone had a gun to your head during rush hour the cops would have rushed to your aid because that is a life and death situation.
I was at a blinking red light in Pennsylvania, and in our state that functions as a stop sign at major intersections. I called 911 because I wanted to have a police report on file in case the individual who hit me attempted to deny any wrong-doing to his insurance company (and with $3,000 worth of rear-end damage I wasn't going to take that chance). It turns out that the individual DID call me the next day to try to pay for my repairs out-of-pocket to avoid going through his insurance company, and in Pennsylvania if your vehicle hits the rear of another vehicle, it is automatically your fault (hence relieving me of any liability for being rear-ended). Having a police report on file would be a crucial piece of evidence if I was instead hit from the front or side, and without out it it would merely be a case of "he said; she said."

If there aren't enough police officers on-staff to deal with crime AND traffic accidents, then there SHOULD be more hired, higher taxes or not.
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:10 PM
 
3,307 posts, read 9,326,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
I was at a blinking red light in Pennsylvania, and in our state that functions as a stop sign at major intersections.
I think jmking was confusing this with the red/green stop lights on the ramps to 66 and 395. That light actually does change from red to green and back to red again (no yellow though).

I can assure you that a flashing red light ALWAYS means to stop (equivalent to a stop sign) no matter what state you're in.

Anyhow, I think my point from the other parks thread applies here too: Parks should charge user fees in order to be self-sufficient or as close as possible to self-sufficient. That way, we wouldn't be having a debate about parks or police/fire.

Libraries I'm a bit more torn on. There's no doubt that libraries help the poorest among us become and stay literate, and there's no way to make libraries self-sufficient. I suppose we could do with fewer CDs and DVDs, and maybe reduced operating hours for less popular libraries, but I wouldn't want the cuts to be too deep.
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:22 AM
 
446 posts, read 1,639,484 times
Reputation: 151
I'm for anything to balance the budget. Public safety would be the last thing I'd touch for sure, but I'd have no issue closing libraries temporarily on Sunday, etc., if it meant lower taxes and a balanced budget. It's high time our government officials learn to live within their means like the rest of us!
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:53 AM
 
943 posts, read 3,144,385 times
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The plan now is to close Libraries on the very evenings that kids need them for their homework assignments effective 7/1/09. There will be more layoffs of Library staff in Fairfax County than any other County Department. Just when their use has nearly doubled.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,402 posts, read 28,792,334 times
Reputation: 19090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend Traveler View Post
The plan now is to close Libraries on the very evenings that kids need them for their homework assignments effective 7/1/09. There will be more layoffs of Library staff in Fairfax County than any other County Department. Just when their use has nearly doubled.
It's sad, indeed. But what can you do, economic troubles are a reality. The libraries have done what they could to help the situation. They put a lot of homework help online. They'll extend the services again just as soon as the economy improves, hopefully that won't be too long.

BTW, I've lived in a number of places and the libraries in NOVA are exceptional. Even at limited function they're still better than in the other cities I've lived in.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:34 AM
 
281 posts, read 1,003,345 times
Reputation: 150
I have a question - weren't police/fire budgets heavily inflated during the housing boom? I thought I read somewhere that they hired a bunch of new officers while times were good. So, if there are budget cuts, wouldn't that simply bring them back down to the level they were at before they began pumping money into them? I was under the impression that they were hiring just because they could, not because they necessarily needed to. But, I could be wrong...

In any event, this is indeed a tough question. During times of economic recession, people are looking for activities that cost little to nothing, and parks and libraries can offer them that. If we cut their budgets, people will complain about the lack of cheap activities. On the other hand, if we cut the fire/police budget, people will complain about a lack of safety. But no one wants to pay the higher taxes to prevent the cuts, nor does anyone want to volunteer their time to make up for whatever cuts occur.

*sigh*

In the end, I would have to go with cutting the library/parks budget. Like normie said, the library (and park) facilities here are fantastic, and I doubt budget cuts will dramatically decrease their quality. However, it does kill me to cut any budget that affects education - I believe that libraries are an incredible resource and a wonderful way to provide free education to those who truly need it.
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