Todd Paris, Staff Writer and Salisbury Attorney
♦ The “Salisbury Spin” is in. Reeking from recent announcements by both TV and print media that County Officials are considering asking the Rowan County Sheriff to take over the under-paid and understaffed Salisbury Police Department, today word is out that City Manager Lane Bailey met with multiple shifts of officers on Thursday and reported that officers say that “stuff like this” does not help with morale or recruitment or help them do their jobs. B.S.
Of course “stuff” like low pay, long hours, little back-up, horrendously expensive health insurance, and an out of control Human Resources Department has no effect whatsoever. No officer will say any different to the City Manager lest the Human Resource’s goes after their jobs and ruins their future career prospects in law enforcement. So far, many officers message is to “vote with their feet.”
Reality speaks loud and clear in the SPD. Each of the 19 empty officer slots saves the city $100 K per year which would total 1.9 million dollars in savings that can be used to pay the 2.4 million dollar annual Fibrant deficit that wolfs down the sum of $6,700.00 per day to pay the Fibrant debt.
The standard public relations spin in city hall continues to equate any truthful so-called “negative” comments or information as being an attack on Salisbury and now an attack on our embattled officers.
The truth we have been paying the Fibrant deficit for years by cutting Crime Control and Public Safety and all other departments since the recession. Karen Alexander, Maggie Blackwell and Brian Miller’s collective chickens have “come home to roost.” Salisbury’s violent criminals, emboldened by a department that is 19 positions down, have run amuck in Salisbury to the point where we have at least 17 unsolved murders, youngsters are shot up in their beds and now gun battles are waged in broad daylight on West Innes Street.
A recent email I received asked for mercy for our embattled City Manager and reminded us he only implements policies and budgets approved and directed by Alexander, Blackwell and Miller. He has the ability to hire and fire city employees like our hapless Chief who still has not completed Basic Law Enforcement Training. The fellow who runs the H-R department and other city hall employees who used their positions to get perks and receive costly furniture from a family member’s multi-level marketing business.
I feel sorry for our City Manager. I bet when he came here he was exposed to “magic math” and told Fibrant was “turning the corner” only to find out its massive deficit was financially eating the city alive. I hope he just rented a house here and did not buy one.
In the end the heat goes to Karen Alexander, Maggie Blackwell and Brian Miller who had five years or so to raise enough revenue to fix SPD and throw some roadblocks in the path of a city that has become a third-world warzone. They must be voted out this November and a new city manager needs to clean out the expendables in city hall and put Salisbury back on the path to safety, security, and jobs.