Guest Column: Resident calls for public safety, first and foremost

At the last City Council meeting the Council authorized hiring two more police officers.  With crime in our City and throughout our State going up, we certainly need more than two additional officers.  Our Chief of Police has asked to return the force to 45 officers (we now have 35 authorized) which was what the force had years ago—long before the rise in crime.

Unfortunately, to pay for two officers the Council had to borrow money from the Swimming Pool savings account while they look for ongoing revenue to continue paying these officers.  Fortunately, that revenue may be found through collecting oil revenues already owed the City, but need to be forensically found and proactively collected.

The Council discussed this revenue at planning sessions, held an oil revenue workshop and discussed the option at Council meetings.  Yet, to date they have not hired the help necessary even though an oil professional offered to find and collect past due revenue for an industry standard contingency fee with no upfront money.

I urge the City Council to take decisive action to find continuing revenues to provide our town with the public safety resources we need.  Safety is our first priority.  If there is someone able to find and collect the revenue, now is the time to act.  Please call your Council representative and ask them to hire a forensic analysis and collection of owed revenues now…wait no longer…we have waited too long already.