Firefighters, deputy sheriffs should not be cut
By Rhonda Smyth, CV&T News Editor
Estill County may soon be facing some really difficult financial times and the fiscal court will have to cut somethings out their budget for the coming fiscal year.
I don’t know enough about the situation to be able to state an opinion about what they should cut. But I do know what I don’t want to be cut.
I live out in the county and I don’t want the county fire department to lay off any paid personnel.
The volunteers are great, but it has been proven that now that the fire station is manned for 16 out of every 24 hour period, responses have been faster during those times.
I also don’t want to lose any of our deputy sheriffs. The court pays the salary of one deputy and the sheriff’s department pays for two while the school system pays for the resource officer, who is also a deputy.
All you have to do is listen to the scanner to realize we can’t do without any of them.
Speaking of the scanner, we certainly can’t afford to lose any 911 dispatchers. They are all well-trained and do a good job. If they are laid off here, they might go elsewhere to get jobs and not want to come back here if the situation changes in the future.
Judge Taylor has already said the road department can’t be cut anymore.
Our senior citizens deserve to have a fully staffed center, so we don’t want cuts there.
We have to have an animal shelter and we need our recycling center. No cuts there.
It takes a lot of money to run the jail. But we need it and I would hate to see any of those employees be laid off.
The inmates have to be fed and they have to be watched. The jail is overcrowded and it costs a lot to house the overflow of inmates in other counties.
But if the overcrowding problem isn’t remedied soon, the state might close our jail.
Deputy jailers would lose their jobs and the county would have to pay to transport and house prisoners in other counties.
That isn’t a good option either.
So where can the cuts be made?
The judge said they need to cut 25 percent out of the budget.
Where will the cuts be made? Employee benefits, like health insurance?
It’s a tough job and all we can do is put our faith in our elected officials and hope they do the right thing for their employees as well as the citizens of Estill County.
I saw on the televison news recently that Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords, who has made a miraculous recovery from being shot in the head at close range, will be able to attend a shuttle launch of which her husband will be the commander. Amazing.
I know most of you watched the coverage of that tragic shooting where Giffords was making a personal appearance and a young man who was later discovered to have had mental problems for most of his life, just walked up and started shooting. I wouldn’t have thought she could survive her wound. I am glad she is going to be ok.
Those who read my column every week know that I love stories and I love watching television.
Lately all I see on television are specials about the upcoming marriage of Kate and Prince William of England.
We all have a certain fascination for the royals, but with everything else that is going on in the world, I have lost it.
I think the wedding coverage will begin at about 4 a.m. on the big day and since it is on a day when I don’t have to get up that early, I don’t think I will be watching it.
I won’t miss anything though, cause they will show it over and over for the next few years, just like they do everything else.
My 62nd birthday has come and gone and I celebrated it all weekend.
Thursday night I had dinner with my daughter and my friends at Olive Garden. Friday when I got home from work, my two youngest great-nephews came to visit and I had supper with them.
Saturday I met my brother, and his family at Logans in Richmond to eat with them and my children.
Sunday I had dinner with a bunch of my family at my sister’s house in Perryville. It was an Easter dinner but I just considered it an extension of my birthday. I love my birthday and I don’t care how old I get as long as I am able to celebrate it.