Up in smoke?

Published 10:21 pm Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Normally you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t like fireworks, but when the money used to light up the Fourth of July night takes away from city employees you don’t have to look far.

The City of Selma is going to find the $3,000 it will take to have fireworks on Independence Day, but will the night really cost that much?

The display usually costs more, but with training the firefighters will be able to take control of the fireworks.

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It’s very unlikely the training is free. Plus the overtime or off duty funds that will have to be paid to police and firefighters adds even more money spent on a few minutes of fun.

No one should be condemning the city council or the mayor for trying to provide fun for the city, but when many city employees, including some council members, have taken a 12.5 percent pay cut, it is hard to support the event.

A few police officers, who did not have a pay cut, suggested that the city take the money that would go to fireworks and give some or all of the money to the employees who took the 12.5 percent cut.

Then, the city could ask or mandate that the money be spent in Selma.

The officers didn’t want to be identified, but the idea should be made known as a viable option.

Even if it is only $20 that money can go along way with a crafty mind, $10 for gas to cut a yard and the remaining spent at a produce stand for groceries or spend the whole lot on fireworks for the fourth of July that is if the employee lives outside the city limits.

The extra money would really mean a lot to those who took a cut in pay or switched to a 35-hour workweek. It would let them know that the city thinks they are doing a good job and are appreciated. That seems a better way for the money to be spent.