Letter: Put public safety over redecorating
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
I cannot imagine what our mayor, Dan Bianchi, is thinking by putting redecorating before public safety. Overstepping the City Council vote, our voice of democracy, to relocate approximately 40 percent of our City Hall offices to a rented space to the tune of $126,000 per year is shocking.
In an age where downsizing and online applications are the trend, I just cannot understand this reasoning. Increasing space at the taxpayer’s expense, when there are so many immediate safety concerns in our city, seems ludicrous. When our chief of police asks for five more officers at budget time (when he really needs 20) and gets turned down, my frustration rises.
As a small-business owner who put her lifelong earnings into a store in Downtown Pittsfield only to have it broken into three times causing horror, stress and eventual closure, I know that increasing police surveillance is a no-brainer if we are to attract new investors to our area. Watching three people fall on a slippery City Hall floor that HAD to be done over, removing safe carpeting to the tune of $90,000-plus is wasteful. On the outside of the City Hall steps, I witnessed another accident due to unsafe frost heaving this past winter. Placing ice packs to people’s bleeding heads after they fall; sorry, I just don’t get it.
Lastly, when the Fire Department asks for a new fire truck, it is because it most likely needs one. The public servants in the trenches should be respected, and when they ask for help to do their job efficiently, they should get it before anything else. To be contradicted and challenged, especially our chiefs who we hold so much trust in, is unsafe and dangerous.
Let these experts do their job, Mr. Mayor, we need them every day and they come before anything else.
MARY L. MCGINNIS
The writer is the city’s former director of administrative services.