Letters to the editor
Look here for your budget solutions
I have been pondering how I would work to balance the budget if I were in the hot seat and thought of several possibilities that would not be too painful and perhaps may even prove to be pleasantly beneficial while saving our tax dollars.
The first suggestion is that all state workers who are considered “non-essential” be placed on a four-day work week at 10 hours per day. This would save a lot in utilities as their offices could be left unlit and un-air conditioned for three days rather than two, yielding a nominal 20 percent savings. A side benefit for the taxpayer is that he or she could conduct business at a later hour and not have to miss work. For the state worker this would mean a regular three day weekend every week and personal savings on fuel and auto maintenance of 20 percent. I could go for that myself.
Continuing this thought, I would also do the same for the K-12 school system. Again, we have the obvious utilities savings, but now we are saving a ton of dollars by only operating the buses for 4 days. This should realize a full 20 percent savings on fuel costs and I would expect the same on maintenance. The real benefit would then be to use the extra hour or so of instructional time to increase the class time to say 2 hours per subject. This will allow teachers to have enough time to really impart knowledge. A school day could be three, two-hour sessions with a subject taught for two consecutive days and then another set of subjects taught for the next two days. Ask most any good teacher about having a bigger block of time to teach on a subject and I bet you will get positive feedback.
Now I realize that some workers may have a contract or union agreement that precludes a 10 hour workday, or specifies overtime for the two extra hours. I would hope that in light of the benefit to the worker that they would voluntarily rescind this. If not, perhaps four eight-hour days would be enough if we hire some temps?
Let’s get together and solve this. We have enough native ability to do so even if our Legislature seems not to. If we let our “representatives” know our wishes, perhaps they will truly represent us and not sell us out to more regulation and new or higher taxes.
Let’s do something about trashed parks
Yesterday, my family and I decided to stop off at Ross Gold Park for a leisurely stroll. After getting our 14-month-old little girl out of the car, memories flooded my mind at how much I enjoyed this park as a child. That was definitely short lived.
Once reaching the lake’s edge, we looked in disbelief. Trash and debris floated on the banks as game tried to weave in and out of the massive amounts of filth that skimmed the top of the water. We left after only several minutes, really just disturbed from the sight we had seen.
Who is taking care of our parks? Are the man-made waterways for our birds and wildlife ever cleaned? Plastic bags, beer cans, and all but the kitchen sink floats in Ross Gold Park.
What a sad day it ended up being. I’d love for my little girl to have a clean, enjoyable place to play so she too can have memories such as I did. But looking at the state of this park makes me wonder. Will she ever get to know how beautiful it once was?
Is the budget crisis affecting how we take care of our parks? Don’t we have enough criminal(s) who can be ordered to clean these places for their community service?
Please do something about this.
MELINDA J. BISHOP