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Public safety should be top priority
Editor,
The first priority of government, is to protect its citizens. It seems that at budget times, this is somewhat forgotten. I, as a citizen, question the fact that the city council chooses to cut our police department by one officer, and is looking at taking away assigned patrol vehicles and go back to officers "hot seating" or sharing vehicles. Officers assigned to one vehicle saves the city money. Sharing does not. It is simple. Cars are driven on one shift instead of two or three shifts. The cost to maintain and to replace vehicles goes way down. One officer vehicles is a successful program, and cars last longer, thus replacement is not as frequent. Take Decatur and Huntsville, some front line police cars are eight years old. Does this not save replacement costs?
Yes, Mr.Mayor, Mr. Councilman, the price for adequate law enforcement, and fire protection for that matter, is not cheap.
I expect you to give public safety a priority when the budget is tight, and not treat public safety like every other department. If you argue that point, then you're missing the point and will fail miserably when it comes to government's first priority, protecting its citizens. Becoming a mayor, or a councilman does not make one an expert in the field of public safety. I, as a citizen of this great city, urge you to fund public safety in a more appropriate fashion. The city needs it, and the citizens demand it.
Randy Cavnar
Hartselle
Drug policy being dismantled
Editor,
In a previous letter, I spoke of the dismantling of Hartselle's school drug testing policy. Phase two is now being evaluated and without a doubt, will be implemented. Due to callousness of our school board, rational thinking has been treated like the baby, the wash water, and the window.
Our school board consists of three people in the medical field. One is a doctor. One is in medical marketing, and one is a counselor. One is a lawyer, and the last one is a policeman/school resource officer/preacher. What strikes me as odd is that they would lower the standards more since Ronnie Abercrombie is no longer there.
Using a "no-name" drug testing facility, that doesn't adequately perform complete drug tests is absurd.
Oxycontin is one of the most abused and habit forming narcotic drugs. This drug is easily obtained and extremely hard to kick the addiction. But this board will select a testing firm that doesn't even test for it.
One individual that I spoke with said that it was a matter of economics, that this firm was cheaper. Had they not chose to throw over a hundred thousand dollars away with the early teacher raises, they wouldn't have a shortfall of funds.
The actions of this board reminds me of the expression, "The inmates are running the asylum." They have no clue of what they are doing, absolutely no leadership nor direction within the board, or even the ability to figure out which end of a horse goes first, plus no accountability to no one because they are appointed. To top it all off, this paper advertised this in a story, therefore informing the kids which drugs they can get away with. Such incompetence in so many allegedly qualified people.
Mike Dowdy
Hartselle
City lucky to have Hartselle Medical
Editor,
Most of we citizens of Hartselle do not realize, nor truly appreciate, just how fortunate we are to have such convenient competent medical facilities immediately available to us, the Hartselle Medical Center. Some discount this fact, saying Decatur is just next door but, on their best day, Decatur cannot exceed the dedicated efficient friendly competence of Hartselle – plus it's not next door, it is here.
Aside from the fact that no one looks forward to hospital stays, they are occasionally necessary and unavoidable.
My recent experience plus a more serious one about five years ago and an almost fatal one 12 years ago are testaments to the dedicated, friendly, efficient, competent care and service provided by the Hartselle Medical Center staff.
James L. Nix
Hartselle

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