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Post Info TOPIC: "Bold projects aren't barrier to firefighter pay"

RE: "Bold projects aren't barrier to firefighter pay"

From Southeast Texas Sound Off:

"Anonymous said...

I used to be a firefighter so i see there side. I have a solution. Most of us have guns at home so lay off the police force and give the money to the firefighters. we can defend ourselfs but how many of you have a fire truck at home???

Wed Dec 13, 04:37:45 PM "

Now that is an idea!


RE: Bold projects aren't barrier to firefighter pay

This is what it is all about!

Management versus Organized Labor



"Bold projects aren't barrier to firefighter pay"

... states the print on the Opinions page under the Editorial section of the December 10, 2005, Beaumont Enterprise. With all of the slanted publicity generated by the Beaumont Enterprise in past weeks about the Beaumont Firefighters, how can this be believed to be a reasonable opinion. It is Thomas Taschinger's opinion that to keep moving forward in development, the City needs to spend millions of dollars on downtown development. He states that the Beaumont Firefighters want their raise at the expense of the downtown projects.


It is my understanding that by bringing these development projects to light that the Firefighters are simply stating that some of them are projects of "want" rather than "necessity" and it is possible to forego some of them in an attempt to pay for basic services like fire protection.


Was it appropriate to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on park revitalization while knowing that an expenditure of approximately $650,000 was going to be needed for MLK park? This is what has been done in recent years. I don't know. I would ask how often these parks are used by the the citizens.


I have been told that the reconstruction of Main Street will result in closure of the street to vehicular traffic between the Port of Beaumont and the Civic Center/Julie Rogers Theater. What is going to happen with all of the traffic entering and leaving the plants in the southern part of the Beaumont during the morning and evening rush hours? I would think that the traffic will shift over to the already congested streets of Orleans, Pearl, and MLK. Is the closure of this thoroughfare reallynecessary? Can the $5.4M cost be reduced by using concrete and asphalt rather than the decorative brick and retaining the thoroughfare? I don't know but I think the Firefighters are bringing these up to give the citizens of Beaumont something to think about.


Repaving Fannin between 4th and 11th is a no-brainer. This street has been in extremely poor shape for years and needs to be reconstructed. Is the City going to place decorative lighting and brickwork here also? As this is the street that runs by Central Park. They may just might!


Is a riverfront park and lake necessary to downtown Beaumont? Again I would ask is this a necessesity or just one of those things that would be nice to have? With a price tag of $6.5M, I would hope that it would be considered by everyone to be a "must have" rather than a "nice to have."


With regard to repaving Phelan Boulevard at a cost of $15.6M, I would ask if it needs to be done in its entirity. The answer is probably yes because this is a major throughofare between the west end and downtown. It sees a significant amount of use on a daily basis and needs to be maintained. With the hefty price tag I would also ask if it too is going to brick lined and have decorative lighting. You never can tell what the people at City Hall are thinking because they do not release all of the details of their plans.


I have no problem with spending money to improve drainage that would eliminate street flooding. I also have no problem with spending money on street maintenance, wastewater/sewer improvements, garbage pickup and other essential services such as public safety (fire, police, and EMS). What I do not want is for our elected officials and City administration to spend money on "niceties" such as decorative brickwork and lighting at the expense of essential services. This is what the Firefighters are complaining about.


Threats of tax increases or loss of essential services due to the funding of non-essential, nice-to-have enhancements is just plain wrong. For the Beaumont Enterprise to continue to bring up the Firefighter complaints as being selfish is also wrong. The Firefighters are voicing their concerns because it seems that the City Manager and Council are spending large sums of money on frivolous things without regard for the impact it will have on the citizens of this community.

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