We must purchase necessities before frills

Kay Arvizu

I don’t understand a lot about politics, and I sure don’t know how to run a town. I do, however, know about household budgets and how to run a business.
I guess that is why I am so confused.
Whether you run a household or a business, and I would think it would hold true for a town budget as well, you buy necessities first. Then, if good planning or good fortune has left you extra money, you purchase the frills.
It seems to me a good police department is important to the growth and stability of a town. I would consider this expense to be a necessity. I also know from experience that if an employer has hired a good, hard-working employee, he must pay a good wage to keep him. If not, he spends money to train this employee, then watches him move on to use his training to enrich someone who will pay him a good wage.
If this cycle continues, the employer is unable to attract new employees, and eventually his business becomes weaker, his customers lose confidence in him, and he can forget about increasing profits.
I really don’t want to be critical, but it seems so simple to me. Our police force is dwindling, and crime is certainly on the increase. If we cannot afford to pay a decent wage to the men and women who protect us, at the risk of their own health and even their lives, how can we attract new employees to the force?
Why would anyone with a good work ethic and a potential for success want to work for such wages?
I have to say here how grateful I am for those few who have stuck it out. Thank goodness they like living in Clovis and are willing to work here. Why can’t we afford to have a well-qualified, well-equipped police force? Is it because we are so caught up in trying to pay for the frills?
Let’s consider the civic center. I would love to have one, and I really think our city would benefit from this in many ways. However, if we can’t afford it now, we must wait until the necessities are taken care of, and the money for it is available. Or until some wise entrepreneur realizes the potential for profit and puts in one himself. And if we can’t protect our city, how can we afford a civic center? Or for that matter, how can we afford a raise for these people who manage our affairs?
I would be embarrassed for folks to know that I had voted for a raise for myself, when I couldn’t afford the necessities to protect our town. It would be like buying expensive clothes and jewelry for myself, while my children wore rags and went hungry.
I thought the folks who run our city were pretty much all business people, but I wonder how long their businesses would survive if they handled their own budgets like they do ours?
And I suppose the biggest question of all is: Why do “we the people” let this go on?

Kay Arvizu is a Clovis resident and frequent contributor to the Opinion page. Contact her at:
kayzoo@yucca.net