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Support better benefits for first responders
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To the editor:

After attending the City Council meeting this past Monday, I decided I just had to write at least one more letter.

I would like to encourage everyone to get registered to vote in the November election. The deadline to do this is Oct. 12. Please don’t wait until the last minute to register. Your vote is more important than ever.

Our EMTs were there in full force and I was really glad to see them there. With the short staffing at the police and fire departments, there were not as many of them there, which is understandable to me.

Question 3 on the upcoming election ballot will give the council the option to choose which program they want to go with. While the members currently on the departments would appreciate an increase to the amount by the city for their retirement, it does not solve the problem of keeping the people we carefully screen and train to get the best of the best.

I want to thank Councilmember Junior Welsh for bringing it to their attention that this would not solve the problem of rapid turnover. KP&F offers a guaranteed retirement package and also offers accident coverage and other offers the current plan does not. These are most likely reasons why other departments around the state are in this program. Councilmember Alan Moeder stated that this is something we cannot afford 10 years, 20 years down the road. I have to disagree as I feel this is definitely what we need if we are going to have high quality police officers and firefighters in the coming years. It is time to quit training people and paying for that training and then losing them to other area departments in our state. Keep in mind that we are paying for all this training only to lose them, without any compensation for that training. To me that is a real waste of taxpayer dollars!

Even if this would require a tax increase of 6 mills, a friend of mine just checked and called to tell me this would increase her taxes on her $100,000 home by $69 a year. She spends more than that a month at the beauty shop. Don’t you think our first responders deserve decent benefits?

Apparently other cities do! It’s time to do the right thing and show our first responders that we appreciate the risk they take each and every day to make our city safe. We need to show up at the polls and back them.

Thanks again for your time.

Marge Bieberle

Great Bend