One has to wonder about what motivates first responders to seek to serve their communities when, upon occasion in the service to members of the community, a negative outcome results. And just how much training should be necessary for the police, medical official, or firefighter [first on the scene] before their first response to the situation at hand is deemed appropriate or appreciated? That judgment is too often left to TV analysts, the press, and vocal members of special interest groups, after the fact. And, yes, a first responder to a drug overdose, third one that evening, to the same victim, might be a bit testy as the Narcan is administered as the victim’s roommates kibitz. Or the solo police officer, responding to gun shots being reported, finds himself or herself confronted by an angry mob outside a bar, family residence, even an outdoor musical event, what is the appropriate response or action the officer should make? Or should the officer wait for the 24-hour news cycle to pass judgment? And yes, I am aware that the training regimen for first responders is constantly and consistently updated, and tested before universally accepted norms are adopted, but what happens when there is a time-lag in their adoption and application? And don’t we recognize that there are budgetary constraints associated with training programs, and that all communities’ training budgets are not the same? Yet a universal quality of response outcome is expected/demanded for all, regardless. Should we not cut these first responders some slack? Maybe, even say, Thank You?
Lawrence Singer, Wallingford
Meriden’s surprise surplus
I for one was pleasantly surprised to hear Meriden currently has a budget surplus. My concern is how this money will be spent. I would hope the Democrat controlled Meriden City Council will take a lesson from our neighbors in Berlin. They reportedly have a budget surplus of $2.8 Million. They plan to spend some of that money, but also plan to take $2 Million of that to pay down debt. They will add to the pension fund. They plan to move some money to higher-paying interest accounts. All good financial moves. My concern is what Meriden will do with its over $1 Million surplus. Why am I concerned? My concern is based on what was done or not done when the Republican initiated budget referendum forced Meriden’s City Council to review the budget for savings to lower taxes. The referendum was supported by 6,000 Meriden voters from all political parties. The outcome from the Democrat controlled Council was only a “token” reduction in taxes, from 4.6 percent to 3 percent, which we have later found that other budget increases and put-back inclusions, after the fact, have brought the Actual budget to more than the original 4.6 percent increase! These past decisions by the Democrat majority City Council tells me it’s likely none of this surplus will result in any lowering of my taxes.
Guy Beeman, Meriden