Cut police and fire and Gilroy could repair sidewalks and more

Dear Editor,
When we moved to Gilroy in the ’60s, Gilroy’s population was
around 8,0000 people. We had a fire department, police department,
excellent library and our streets were cleaned by the city.
Dear Editor,

When we moved to Gilroy in the ’60s, Gilroy’s population was around 8,0000 people. We had a fire department, police department, excellent library and our streets were cleaned by the city.

In the mid ’70 s we had our famous sewer-gate, where the city manager and at least one city councilman resigned over this matter. A state agency closed all new building permits until Gilroy built a new sewer plant. The new city manager discontinued our street cleaning and pushed through a temporary 5 percent utility tax to keep the city services going. Thirty years later we still have the 5 percent utility tax, we pay for the street cleaning through the garbage company and our library is closed one more day a week.

This city is swimming in money, with the auto dealerships, outlet center, motels, every conceivable big box store and a 5 percent utility tax. Since 80 percent of our budget goes to the police and fire departments, this is where problem lies.

First, we should do what Morgan Hill did when they ran short of money years ago, turn our fire department over to the county. Secondly, how does the Morgan Hill Police Department operate on a $6 million budget, while Gilroy’s budget is $15 million. Since Morgan Hill is approximately two-thirds the size of Gilroy, our budget should be no larger than $8 or $9 million. Just by cutting back on these two departments, Gilroy would have a minimum of $6 million a year to keep the library open full time, repair our sidewalks and have millions of dollars left over.

Don and Bev Pierce, Gilroy

Leave your comments