City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld announced a hiring freeze last week which included a freeze on new police and fire positions. The reason? They have to make up for the lost revenue due to a delay in the red light camera program. This comes after some timing questions were raised by NewsChannel 11.
Then, this week, I learned they have set aside $1.3 million for a new visitors center. Now I don't want to sound like a broken record, always being negative about city hall, but they are bringing it on themselves. This latest hiring freeze is an example of how our priorities down there have gone astray.
We can plan and set aside over a million dollars for a new visitors center, but we can't hire new police officers? Are they saying we can't run this city without the money from red light cameras?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the idea of giving tickets to people who run red lights, but don't hold the safety of the citizens hostage because you're not getting your cameras up fast enough.
Also, isn't just a little too coincidental they gave assistant city managers' big raises right before they announced a mandatory hiring freeze? All this seems a little out of whack and like a scare tactic to me.
Consider this, I don't know about you, but I would much rather let our police and fire chiefs be allowed to hire the people they need before I'd spend one penny on anything else.
I'm all for growth and moving Lubbock forward, but the mayor and others seem to have trouble understanding the basic role of government...serving the needs of the people that pay the taxes.
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