As far as I’m concerned, the main responsibility of local governments is keeping the streets safe and clean in every way imaginable. That means essential services – police, fire, EMS, sanitation, etc.
But you guys love to cut that stuff, especially when it seems like we’re underused. That shows how poor your understanding is when it comes to the nature of our work. Our work is inherently inefficient – just because we have a slow day doesn’t mean you should cut our staffing. We’re here for the worst-case scenario, like when a bus flips over or when a building falls down. When you need a thousand emergency crews, you need a thousand emergency crews.
Same with blizzards. When you need a thousand snowplows, you need a thousand snowplows. There is no substitute.
For instance, New York forgot that they have snowstorms just about every year, and this year they for some reason, despite knowing well in advance that a big one was coming, stubbornly refused to declare a snow emergency to clear the streets, even though the storm was strong enough to literally blow people away, and that led to an army of police units, fire apparatus and ambulances being stuck in the snow all over the city. In the most dramatic example, Engine 289 waited at the residence of a Queens asthmatic for 10 hours for an ambulance before Battalion 46 was able to drive her to the hospital.
Remember Chicago mayor Michael Bilandic? His primary defeat was widely attributed to a bungled city response to a blizzard.
On a related topic, city officials are asking people to refrain from calling 911 unless there is truly an emergency. Wait a second – shouldn’t that ALWAYS be the case?
Anyway, stop cutting our essential services, assholes. Instead, please cut the gifts and subsidies you give to all your developer and consultant friends. Maybe your pay and benefits too, since you love to cut ours.