Keep bubble, but cut rescue team?
I don’t make it a habit to get involved in city politics, but after learning that the city plans to disband the Peachtree City Fire Department’s Dive Rescue Team due to funding cuts, I decided to email our mayor and City Council asking why they would cut funding for a valuable emergency service, yet they find funding to replace bubbles over swimming pools that are a constant drain on the city’s resources and to remediate cracks in tennis courts.
Mayor Haddix and Mr. Sturbaum replied to my email the same day. They had both voted to provide the funding for the dive team. The only other response I received to date was from Ms. Learnard.
Her reply explained that the dive team never saved anyone and their primary focus was to pull dead bodies and evidence out of the water. She further explained that we could have Henry County’s dive team do that for us, which would only take about two extra hours.
She also pinned the blame for our budget issues on the past administration’s habit of expanding facilities without factoring in the operating costs for future budgets. I never received a reply from Ms. Fleisch or Mr. Imker.
My reply to Ms. Learnard: So, what you’re saying is that in the unlikely event that a car plummets off the bridge into Lake Peachtree or Lake Kedron, and submerges, that our city will choose to wait a couple of hours for Henry County to come fish out the corpse instead of having our own, qualified rescue workers save the victim.
I get it. It’s all about budget. We need nice tennis courts and bubbles over our swimming pool.
As a taxpayer, I strongly disagree with your decision. That car could be mine or that of my husband or child. If our leaders have spent money unwisely in the past, unwisely cutting funding from city services is not the way to correct it. Protecting your citizens should always take priority.”
Time and again we have seen budgets for city services cut: raises suspended, pay cuts, and benefits reduced for safety personnel, outsourcing landscape maintenance (we all know how that one has turned out), etc.
Yet we continually read about funding for recreational upgrades. If you agree that our emergency services are more valuable to the well-being of our community than recreation upgrades, please contact the City Council. Apparently three of the five stand with Ms. Learnard.
Peachtree City, Ga.