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Opinion: An Inquiry Into Police Staffing

Letter to the editor: President of police officers association gives rationale behind endorsements.

By Steve Rohwer
 
The Walnut Creek Police Association has formally endorsed 3 of the 4 candidates in the coming election for Walnut Creek City Council: Mayor Bob Simmons, Deputy District Attorney Barry Grove, and Justin Wedel. We feel that they have the qualifications, leadership, vision, and experience best suited to preserve and enhance all the aspects that make Walnut Creek special, unique and treasured by its residents and visitors. While people are attracted to our city for its shopping, restaurants, arts and recreational events, and its excellent schools, they also come here because the officers and management of the Walnut Creek Police Department work diligently to preserve life and property and provide a sense of safety and comfort for those who enjoy Walnut Creek’s attributes. 
 
Our community unfortunately will never be completely crime free; however, a well staffed, well trained, dedicated, professional police department and its ability to not only rid our community of those who commit crimes, but prevent crimes from happening in the first place, is the cornerstone upon which a safe, vibrant, and growing community is laid. 
 
With the recent economic downturn many city services were either scaled back or eliminated altogether. Dozens of city employees were laid off, and other positions were frozen (purposely not filled). The Police Department was not spared these cuts or concessions. Nine positions were frozen within the PD, 5 sworn and 4 non sworn. One of the non-sworn positions was filled by a Lieutenant, so that effectively eliminated 6 sworn positions.
 
Here are some facts about the WCPD:
 
Police staffing is currently authorized at 77 sworn officers, an increase of one over last year. This increase is a restoration of a previously frozen position enacted by the City Council. Next July 2013 one more will be 'unfrozen' to bring us to the same level authorized in 1996 — 78.  (These two unfrozen sworn positions came at the expense of freezing another non-sworn parking enforcement position.)  However, due to long-term injuries, military leave, and retirements, our actual staffing level for years has been 70-72 officers. Four MORE officers will be retiring next month. To bring a new officer onto the street, from the time of job application, hiring, 6 months of academy training and 4 months field training takes an entire YEAR. Hiring an officer from another department (lateral) cuts that time in half. Other civilian positions within the PD have been cut as well.

We no longer have a crime prevention coordinator.  We have NO school resource officers anymore.  Because of staffing shortages, our traffic team hasn't been a team at all for most of this year but rather a traffic INDIVIDUAL. We used to have a traffic squad of 8 officers and a traffic sergeant. In September, the WC Patch mentioned that the WCPD Motor Squad, which for years routinely led our beloved Walnut Festival Parade, was missing. Well sadly, a solo motor officer leading a parade doesn't make much of an impression. Next month, the last traffic officer standing will be taken off of traffic duty and working patrol. The only traffic enforcement that will be provided will be from patrol officers who happen to notice something on their way between calls for service, which are at an all-time high. We already no longer routinely investigate minor property damage-only collisions, a service we used to provide when WCPD had a fully staffed Traffic Team. Traffic citations issued are down over 50 percent. Not surprisingly, collisions have increased during the same time frame.
 
We simply do not have the staffing to address legitimate requests for traffic enforcement in Rossmoor, other WC neighborhoods, our schools, or downtown. While we recognize that traffic violations and the problems lack of traffic enforcement inevitably cause are not ‘major’ issues compared to felonious assaults or home burglaries, they do directly affect the quality of life and comfort level Walnut Creek residents and its visitors expect. Furthermore, traffic officers do more than enforce traffic violations. Our police administration has long recognized the value a fully staffed traffic squad brings. Motor officers, because they can quickly maneuver through Walnut Creek's notoriously heavy traffic, are often the first on scene of a major felony incident, and have in the past captured scores of criminals preying on our community.
 
Recently all 4 candidates for City Council attended a forum in Rossmoor where the candidates answered questions about public safety:
 
Perhaps Ms. Haskew was misquoted or misinformed when she incorrectly stated that we have provided more traffic enforcement in Rossmoor in the last year and that crime in all categories is down. We in fact have not provided more, but much less traffic enforcement, not only in Rossmoor but throughout the city, and serious felonies are up, not down. We understand Ms. Haskew was at a public forum hoping to portray herself as "in touch" with public safety issues in Walnut Creek in an effort to garner votes. However her statements on these matters were simply wrong. There aren’t enough personnel allocated to traffic issues. Very soon there won't be any. Serious crimes are up, and likely to continue as the state of California complies to a federal order to release 40,000 convicted felons early, many of whom came from Contra Costa or Alameda County. These felons who have spent a lifetime preying on others unfortunately will not be responding to the good fortune of their early release by getting a job and becoming productive, if history is any lesson to us. This letter is not meant to alarm anyone or to get 'demands' met for increased staffing. It is meant to inform you and readers of WC Patch about where the status of public safety truly is in Walnut Creek.
 
It is more likely than not that with projected retirements next year, assuming no more injuries or other unforeseen shortages (a very tenuous assumption), that the WCPD will not get up to even the authorized 78 personnel level before the end of 2013, and that's a best case scenario.
 
Chief Bryden has told the Council he needs well over 80 officers to adequately provide the level of police service that WC residents have come to expect. The present Council did fund one more officer this fiscal year and one more starting next July as stated above, but that is still far short of what Chief Bryden has asked for. Our current Council’s support of our Chief in regards to staffing has been long on words and short on deeds at best.
 
The community and our Chief of Police deserve a City Council that will do more than pay lip service to public safety. They deserve a Council that will govern in a responsible, balanced manner that gives the police department the resources it needs to provide the safety and service WC residents and visitors deserve and expect, while also preserving the other aspects of Walnut Creek (arts, restaurants, shopping, etc) that makes Walnut Creek the crown jewel of Contra Costa County. We believe electing Barry Grove, Justin Wedel, and Bob Simmons will do just that. 

Steve Rohwer is president of the Walnut Creek Police Officers Association.

Opinion: Public Safety is No. 1 Priority


 


JClark927 October 29, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Hi Steve. What I would like to know is where you and the three candidates endorsed by the association stand on public service, and, in particular, public safety, pension reform. Do you believe the recent "reforms" passed in Sacramento are sustainable? Do you believe it is mathematically sustainable to have an employee work for thirty years and retire for thirty years? I am a person who believes that voters need to suffer the consequences of their actions by meeting commitments of their elected officials to-date. That said, I believe those commitments can be changed effective tomorrow. While I believe it will take tax increases to get government at all levels out of their current holes, I will support no tax increases until public service pensions are set at a level where the people who receive the service are the ones who pay for it (100% funding of pensions and medical a funded during the work-life of the employees). If people are still willing to pay (rather than pass on to their children and grandchildren) when they are writing checks for those numbers, more power to them.
Officer October 29, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Hello JClark927, I can’t speak for Mr. Rohwer but I can respond to your post. Walnut Creek has zero General Fund debt and zero unfunded liabilities under the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) 45 definitions. Officers are in a 3 year contract that has us paying our full share of pensions; we cost share our medical premiums with the city and have no medical benefits upon retirement. In other words we are the poster children for the strongest pension reform in the Bay Area. Most public sector dishwashers have better benefits (not pay) than us. This is partly why Loella Haskew’s comments on pensions being such a problem here are laughable. There isn’t much more you can take away from us. The down side to this is Walnut Creek is not competitive in the labor market. The result has been officers fleeing to other law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area. 20 have left in the last 8 years and we haven’t hired a single officer from within this county during the same timeframe (unheard of for a department that was cream of the crop a decade ago). Add to this a city leadership asleep at the wheel and you have the perfect storm Mr. Rohwer writes about. A Human Resources Department that is often too busy filling posts for tree trimmers and arts and rec employees to get around to hiring needed cops. A City Manager that micromanages politically sensitive day to day police operations but fails to act when staffing shortages threaten the ability to respond to all call types.
Officer October 29, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Cont from above: Officers forced to work ever increasing amounts of overtime because it is cheaper than hiring more new people (overtime is currently 300% over budget). Budget cuts that have curtailed support staff, training and equipment funding. Staffing shortages that have led to the elimination of school resource officers and traffic enforcement, shortages of Detectives and soon the elimination of our Downtown Team. Add to the mix that managers make barely more than officers (sometimes less) and people like me say what am I doing here? It takes a year to get a new cop on the street and with retirements and officers leaving for greener pastures it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. When officers stop answering their phones to be ordered to come in and work yet another overtime shift you better hope the CHP has units that can supplement ours. My disclaimer is I am on my way out to a different police agency so I have no stake in what happens after I’m gone. Many other officers are also leaving. When officers were negotiating recent pay and benefit cuts the city would often remind us that we were asking for more cops AND fewer pay cuts. You can’t have both they’d say. As if somehow it wasn’t their responsibility as city leaders to properly staff the police department. Well now it is their problem and residents should take note of who caused it. Just trying to provide some perspective on the way out the door...
JClark927 October 29, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Officer: thank you for a thoughtful, insightful response. Can you confirm: I am betting that when you say, "paying our full share of pensions", that officers and the city each pay about 10% of current salary. Is that what is being called "full". If I am correct, my point is that the math does not work --- there is a disconnect between full contribution and full cost. At 30 years contributing 20% of average pay, a 50-something year old pensioner accumulates about 5 years of "final pay" as principal. Investment income from that will not cover a life expectancy into their 80s. I am intimate with both GASB and FASB. Unfortunately, in the pension area, GASB allows assumptions and actions that would put a private side CFO in an orange suit and a perp walk. The key to my position, though, is that I support you in whatever you can get as long as it is paid for (real cost) during your work years by the people who benefited from your service and not passed to the future.
Maride October 29, 2012 at 09:49 PM
This officer might want to re-check some of his or her facts about HR's hiring priorities. The Arts division lost 50% of their staff due to budget layoffs leaving the remaining staff working under great stress. There have certainly been no new hires. The PD benefits are the envy of the rest of the City employees. PD may or may not need more officers and benefits but denigrating other City departments is un-professional and certainly not supportive of the City employees as a whole.
Guest October 29, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Maride, I think you misread that. I believe "officer" was refering to medical after retirement benefits that most public sector employees get and no Walnut Creek employees get. I work for another city and it has always been the running joke about Walnut Creek PD not getting this benefit we and others have. It seems all WC employees are in the same boat but your SAFETY employees are way behind in the SAFETY marketplace.
Guest October 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM
JCLARK927, Most of the unfunded Post Employment Benefits come from unfunded medical costs after retirement since most cities and counties "pay as they go". As you know CalPERS in a much better position since they have a historical 7.75% 20-year rate of return (but that is still up for debate) and a constant flow of new members. Walnut Creek has no medical retirement benefit hence no GASB liability. My city started "superfunding" our substantial GASB liability 2 years ago but we should have started a decade ago when things were all peaches and cream.
Steve Rohwer October 30, 2012 at 04:04 AM
JClark, As I said on the other related thread, I appreciate your concerns about salaries, benefits and pensions. I'm not trying to dodge your question, and would be happy to address it, but I think it's gotten this post a bit off track. But I will say that the Borenstein article referred to in the CCTimes has nothing whatsoever to do with WC. He's talking about a completely different bag of apples. Of course his inference is not so, and he never does tell the complete story, but that's the Borenstein style. At least he's consistent in his inconsistency, I'll give him that.
Guest October 30, 2012 at 05:19 AM
Maride, the arts department (or whatever it's called) represents roughly the same % of the General Fund today as it did before the recession (over 20%). No other city spends anywhere near that amount. You should be happy you have a job at all since I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why my tax dollars are paying for something that should be run by private organizations and companies.
JClark927 October 30, 2012 at 06:19 AM
Hi Steve. I appreciate your diligence in replying to both articles. Here is why I do not believe the topic of pension and benefit costs are "off track". I think the point of your piece is that WC needs a council that will support more resources in the police department. This begs the question, "why don't we just spend the money to do that?". I recognize that the answer involves many issues, some of which, like the library, are (appropriately) hot. That said, I know one of the material issues is that public service pensions and benefits cost too much to be sustainable (and that, on the state level, they have been wildly mismanaged and were negotiated in an system that did not serve tax payers or employees well). So, I asked the question only because it influences my vote. If you try to explain to me that there is no pension issue (or, like a commenter to Borenstein's article, that spiking is OK because it has been "paid for"), i do not factor your endorsement into my vote (or I even vote against you for fear local politicians bend to your campaign presence) . If you tell me that current pensions (and their administration) require more future reform, I am more comfortable voting with you.
applestoapples October 30, 2012 at 03:53 PM
The "spiking" you refer to involves cashing in unused sick time and vacation time to boost a final year's salary and thus a pension. These are rules allowed (for the moment) under county (aka 1937 Act) pension systems. Walnut Creek has never allowed spiking under the CalPERS system and does not even offer a sick bank to employees. On top of that the police department has always been 33%-35% of the budget. That includes medical and pension costs. It hasn't changed and is not protected to.
michael frederick October 30, 2012 at 05:57 PM
JClark, If you'll endulge me, let me see if I can clear things up for people such as yourself and Guest. A lot of this boils down to the recognition that politics is a lot like real estate -- its a local sport where local knowledge is at least as important as whatever Borenstein presents ... First, "J", let me say I very much appreciate your concern for long-term planning and future generations. I'm a 7th generation resident whose family business hinges on 30 year planning, to survive the next round of death taxes ... We're also the folks on the cover of your history books ... If you read the paper, you'll see problems at the state (you forgot county!), police associations doing all sorts of provocative things, etc. It is the role of WCPA to advocate for its membership and I share your concerns over the long haul that things might evolve. However, you need to weigh such potential against a mountain of evidence surrounding the alternative. I've written extensively about this but, simply: When Ms. Haskew's library supporters were asked why their proposal was 50% MORE expensive than the Santa Clara MODEL they used, they were unresponsive -- except to declare those asking "naysayers." They blew everyone off, just as Ms. Haskew delivered her speech and ran for cover. Conversely, when you ask Mr. Rohwer a question, he responds. Which do you think is the more responsible choice for WC?
Steve Rohwer October 31, 2012 at 03:39 AM
@JClark and others--your question is a valid one, although I still don't think it relates to my original letter to Patch. Also as you are well aware by now, it seems I cannot write a short answer, so my apologies beforehand, but this is a very complex and often misunderstood issue. I never once mentioned police salaries, benefits or pensions in my article. It was about staffing of the WCPD, and correcting one candidate's incorrect statement about it. However since you have pushed the issue, I will attempt to answer your question--Do I think the recent reforms passed by the CA state legislature are sustainable? The short answer is I don't know. If I had a crystal ball that worked, I could tell you, but unfortunately I don't know where to find one. Certainly however, the reforms enacted help achieve that sustainable goal. Most of the reforms enacted apply to new public employees, and not just safety (police and fire) employees, hired after the end of this year. Is it mathematically possible for someone to work for 30 yrs and retire 30 yrs? That is such an open ended question with no parameters, almost any answer would be correct. Really it depends on the math used, doesn't it, insofar as how much was contributed into the pension fund, how much it accrued over the 30 yr career of the employee, and what the dispersal of funds rate is? So depending on the variables involved I just mentioned, the answer is yes, no, and maybe. Continued...
Steve Rohwer October 31, 2012 at 03:51 AM
First, the Borenstein article Mr. Hoffman refers to in the sister post to this issue has nothing whatsoever to do with WC. He is talking about spiking in the county's 1937 Act retirement system. WC and most cities are in the CalPERS system. CalPERS has long had rules that prohibited this type of salary retirement spiking by employees. We cannot use accrued leave time to attach to our salary and thus increase our retirement check. WC employees don't even get sick leave, that went away in 1995 when the city went to a general leave system. Do I agree spiking in other retirement systems like CoCo County's should be prohibited? Absolutely yes. Why? Because if one spikes his/her salary to get more retirement $, that is less $ in the pool for the rest. It is a foolish policy in my opinion, and fiscally irresponsible. The new reforms passed disallow that, statewide, except for Charter cities that are not in CalPERS (there are only a handful of those, SF being one). A lot has been said of cops retiring at 90% at age 50. That is a falsehood, since state law says you must be 21 to be a peace officer and you have to have 30 yrs service to get 90%. Thus the earliest anyone could get 90% is age 51. However, the fact is the average starting age for law enforcement in CA is age 27. We have dozens of officers at WCPD who started in their 30s and some even in their 40s. I was 27 when I became a cop, so I guess you could say I'm an average cop ha. Cont...
Steve Rohwer October 31, 2012 at 04:04 AM
The WCPOA bargained for a new contract this summer. We gave concessions across the board, agreeing to pay our full employee share of 9% by Aug 2014. We also agreed to no raise this year. We also agreed to pay a share of our medical coverage premiums. We also agreed to have new hires get a lesser defined pension benefit tier BEFORE the state acted. My colleague above stated WC gives no retiree medical benefit. His comment is partially accurate. WC gives no defined benefit medical to retirees, and never has. Most other Contra Costa agencies, including the county do. Pleasant Hill is the other exception. WC does however give a defined contribution to its employees that goes into a medical account at retirement. The funds can only be used for medical expenses per the IRS as they don't get taxed. The amount the city contributes is on a scale according to tenure. Officers also contribute some of their own funds into a similar account. The city money is not fully vested until the officer reaches age 50, and is not even partially vested until age 40 and 10 yrs of service. Oh, and what was the ratification vote by the POA to this contract that saved the City of WC about $1M over 3 yrs? It was a unanimous vote save for 1 officer--98%. The bargaining talks were cordial and progressive, even though we gave up a lot. I'm proud of how we conducted ourselves at the table.
Steve Rohwer October 31, 2012 at 04:15 AM
One last thing then I'll shut my pie hole here, and if you've read this far without sleeping you're a better person than I. A poster stated WC only spends about 35% of its budget on the PD, whereas most other cities around us spend around 50% or even more. Those figures are accurate. You replied that 35% is not the true cost. I beg to differ. It IS the true cost. Walnut Creek enjoys ZERO unfunded liability. NONE. When an officer, or any employee retires from WC, The city doesn't pay a dime after that employee has left. Not a red cent. The retirement check comes from CalPERS, not WC. If we had a City of Walnut Creek retirement system, you would be accurate, but WC contracts with CalPERS for pensions. That fact and the fact that WC does not give its employees a defined benefit medical plan to its retirees, is the reason. So 35% IS the actual cost. I could get into how CalPERS works with assumed rates of return, smoothing, pension holidays and many other issues, but I've already used up waaay too much of Mr. Howland's website space. I do hope however that this has helped you gain a bit more understanding. Borenstein's articles contain some facts and a lot of innuendo to lead an uninformed reader to a conclusion that is not factually accurate, although he portrays himself and his paper as purveyors of truth to the masses. Sincerely, Steve R.
JClark927 October 31, 2012 at 05:18 AM
The good news: As a result of this (and other discussions over time on the Patch) I feel better informed about WC in particular. If the new council, were to say they needed to propose a city tax (remember, I long ago said I believed taxes will need to be part of the solution -- but was not willing to support them until pensions are addressed) I could support that (if the use of funds was tightly controlled). I will even be voting for the same candidates the Association has endorsed (and this conversation has moved me that direction.) Hopefully the string has been useful to others too! (I'd hate to be Steve's hardest earned voter of 2012.) Perhaps bad news: I still disagree with Steve's description of true costs, unfunded liabilities and whether WC citizens will be paying for the problem. Calpers is, in fact, underfunded by tens of billions of $. Calpers is, in fact, empowered by law to bill the state and municipalities for its underfunding. Forbes has called Calpers, "the biggest canary in the mine". Past services WILL be paid for by taxpayers who did not benefit from the service. My funds, my children's funds and my grandchildren's funds might not flow through WC, but it is just semantics if it is the state we need to pay for mismanaged, unrealistic, unsustainable programs. So, I still will not be voting for taxes from the county level on up until real pension & benefit reforms are in place. (I wonder if Jerry Brown reads the WC Patch ;) Thanks everyone, esp Steve.
michael frederick October 31, 2012 at 07:10 AM
JClark -- thank you for an intelligent discussion. I'm always heartened, for instance, when I hear seasoned citizens in Rossmoor express concern for the kids in our community -- that's the WC I grew up in and the one I value -- an optimistic, forward looking, place. We can never get enough like you. Steve, thank you for all of the effort you put into explaining things for us. I'll need to reread, as there is a lot to absorb -- I'm not as proficient on this as JClark, I'm sure. But, as I said, I appreciate the responsiveness to the public and that is the way all public reps should act. I could see the tension coming 6-7 years ago, when GP2025 assumed the same level of policing needs (per capita) for the transient, urban, tourist attraction that is GP2025 -- as has been historically required for long-standing, multi-generational, residents in SFHs on a 1/4 acre! People who think that is world class planning, probably can't read this. I hope things like this get cleaned up before too long, not just for WCPD's sake.
WCE November 04, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I love WC and am pro-police. But as a 'co-worker', I am appalled at the behavior of the POA. All city emps have been placed under stress with the lack of staffing. Many actually LOST their jobs instead of taking early retirement. I've definitely seen my paycheck steadily decrease the past 3 yrs. (What I wouldn't give to earn some overtime to subsidize my shrinking paycheck.) The POA keeps saying the city does not care for the safety of its citizens and that is wrong. If I'm correct, the PD has onboarded three new officers since Aug/Sept, right? I know being an officer is high risk and am sincerely thankful there are people willing to do it. But, as a business, you cost more than someone sitting behind a desk. Because it’s your favorite example, did you know that Arts programs, in general, recoup @ 75% of their costs? In simplified terms, if it cost $100 to run an Arts program, they earn back $75. How much cost recovery is there in the PD? The PD is “almost” all overhead. It is necessary overhead, but overhead nonetheless. I just don’t understand why the POA feels the need to through the entire organization under the bus because they’re not getting what they want. I’m happy to have a job and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for any of OUR co-workers. But please stop separating yourselves from the rest of the employees who have been carrying the weight of this shrinking organization for years now. You are not alone in your struggles. Stop making it like you are.
WCE November 04, 2012 at 08:37 PM
that would be "throw the entire organization", not "through.
Steve Rohwer November 05, 2012 at 04:39 PM
@WCE, Apparently you get appalled quite easily. I'm sorry for that. Not once did I denegrate any other city department or employee. If you're offended by my speaking out on behalf of the POA, well too bad you're not getting an apology from me. I stand by every word I said. Maybe you should reread. I simply said public safety is the foundation upon which other popular and necessary city services are laid. It's true. It's also true that hiring a new officer takes a lot longer than any other position within the city. It's also true that when we are short staffed it may be a matter of greater importance than someone having to wait longer in line to get their tickets to "A Christmas Carol"
Steve Rohwer November 05, 2012 at 04:43 PM
And one more thing--all the city employees I have met or worked with are excellent people. Friendly, courteous, and professional. They all do important jobs and from what I've seen do them quite well. The citizens of WC can be proud that their city hires high quality people, no matter what dept they work in.
eastbay48 November 06, 2012 at 03:46 AM
I am all for more police services in Walnut Creek. As a home burglary victim last year (twice), I did some research on crime statistics in the area and was pretty shocked by what I found. Yes, crime rates have gone down since last year and "violent" crime is low, but according to neighborhoodscout.com, a site where you can research areas before buying a home, Walnut Creek's crime index is 14 (it was 11 in 2011) with 100 being best. We need more police officers here, not less. If adding more officers can prevent even one family from feeling like I do, it would be worth it.
Julie Jepsen-Grant November 06, 2012 at 04:41 AM
WCE, could you please explain to me why your organization is shrinking?
Officer November 06, 2012 at 06:33 AM
WCE, you are correct, WCPD has 3 new officers in training. The problem is they are replacing 4 officers that will be retired within 30 days. On top of that a 4 year officer left for private industry last week and another leaves Friday to join Oakland PD. Two more officers are in the "background" phase (i.e. last phase) of hiring with other police agencies and several others have started the application process. Four more senior officers plan to retire next year as does the Chief. That's just what we know about. As you can see the three "onboard" barely make a dent. Fact is we have very different jobs. You have an equivalent in the private industry. I don't. When we are short staffed I get ordered to stay for another shift or to come in from home no matter what I'm doing. We HAVE to staff the streets 24/7/365 no matter what. We are "authorized" 77 officers (it should be 85-87 based on FBI recommendations) and we will have 67-70 actually working by year's end. Overtime is nice until you have no choice. Even worse when it means working long unwanted hours during the holidays. We've been doing it for almost 2 years with the same or worse pay/benefit cuts. Forcing us to work OT is cheaper than hiring new people so it isn't a priority for the city. That's why people are leaving left and right. As for the arts you kind of sound like my wife when she says I got these $200 shoes for 25% off! Yeah but you still paid $150 bucks! In the case of the arts it's still 4-5 million every year.
Ike November 26, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Steve, I've heard WCPD is selling all of its motorcycles with little or no chance of a traffic team returning to WC. Can you confirm or deny this potential tragedy? CCC citizens have come to expect traffic enforcement in WC and thus drive more safely than in other cities. We have also become accustomed to motorcycle officers arriving quickly to in-progress crimes. No motor officers? Say it isn't so . . .
Josh Goldman December 30, 2012 at 08:28 AM
What's more important, $ for art programs or $ for cops? What's more important, drawing pictures or saving lives?
david ashburn March 06, 2013 at 06:18 AM
Money for art is more important and more lasting and permanent.

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