Serve constituents first

Serve constituents first


A government job’s a good gig if you can get it. But the mayor of Salem seems to have forgotten that when you draw your pay from the taxpayers, you are accountable to them. An elected official has a responsibility to act in the best interest of his constituents. That does not mean acting in the best interest of your buddies, or in the best interest of only council members.

The mayor should look around his city. Times are tough in Salem. That makes it all the harder when taxpayers see their hard-earned money being misused.

Tough times call for tough measures. Salem residents know about belt-tightening, but knowing where cuts can be made and were funding needs to be increased is a vital part of being a leader. The police department is one of those areas that should never be on the list for budget cuts. When times are tough, other areas need to sacrifice to make sure the police department is running at full staff.

Just like every other time in history when the country was in recession, and just like every other place in the country, when the general public is facing financial hardship, crimes goes up. Now is not the time to be saving money by reducing police protection in the city.

I’m not sure whose bright idea it was, but parking empty police cruisers around town does not deter crime. I was asked recently by someone who isn’t from Salem, but was passing through, “What’s up with the empty police cars parked around Salem?” If someone who is just passing through notices that there are no officers attached to those cars, why wouldn’t residents and criminals who live here notice? Any empty cruiser provides no protection.

Maybe it’s time that the mayor got out of his office, took a walk around Salem and talked to his constituents, not the good ol’ boys. He should find out what the good people of the city need.