“it’s a lot of blah, blah, blah and no bling”

Continuing today’s theme of funny quotes (see previous post) that was the response of Sgt. Dexter Cunningham, incoming president of the Fraternal Order of Police, to Mayor Kincaid’s new crime fighting initiative.

Sgt. Cunningham is right. Here’s the mayor’s reasoning for not providing a real pay increase:

Kincaid rejected a proposal to ask the Jefferson County Personnel Board to consider a 15 percent raise over three years for public safety workers, saying such a raise for police officers and firefighters is inequitable.

“We’re talking about fairness to all city employees,” Kincaid said. “We’ve got to take into account the total compensation package.”

“Inequitable.” That’s how he describes raising the pay for cops and firefighters more than for other employees. Not to belittle all the other municipal employees (though I will point out that the trash on my curb that was supposed to be collected last week is still sitting there), or be melodramatic, but how many of the other employees put there lives in danger every time they go to work? O.K., maybe the teachers, but other than them?

Meanwhile, check out some of the projects for which the Mayor does want the city to spend money.

$22,500 to Clergy That Care, Inc.

“To provide services in vocational training and employment and to provide education to youth in the City which includes substance abuse, health education with reference to AIDS and teen pregnancies and gangs associated with violence.” (Submitted by the Mayor)

$193,000 to Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

“To provide services within the City which include offering the Jazz Recycling Program wherein donated instruments are refurbished and given to aspiring young musicians; sponsoring All That’s Jazz, a music education program for students by bringing professional musicians to schools for performances and workshops at no cost, and offering the Community Jazz Outreach program which will allow musicians to earn wages for performing free concerts for the community.” (Submitted by the Mayor)
 

$27,000 to Birmingham Board of Education — Family Involvement

“To provide information, training, and assistance through family/parent education courses, activities and referral services which includes monthly parenting classes/courses, workshops and seminars for parents, adult family and community members and significant others, providing special workshops throughout the year for the entire family and a district-wide family conference.” (Submitted by the Mayor)

It’s not that there is anything wrong with that stuff. But the terms of the grants are so vague that no-one will ever have any idea whether or not the money actually served its purpose, or even what the purpose was. This is giving the money to the group to use as it sees fit. There is no accountability.

And even if the goals were clear, objective, and measurable, none of these things are anywhere near as important as making sure the police and fire departments have all the people and equipment they need. There is nothing wrong with buying a new television, unless you buy it instead of fixing your leaky roof. The city only has so much money, we can’t afford to misspend it.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Birmingham, Birmingham Crime

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