Don't reduce prisoners; cut salaries and benefits



Don't reduce prisoners;cut salaries and benefits
EDITOR:
I find the situation with the Mahoning County Jail population comical. What to do, what to do? The spineless county commissioners have allowed the county to get into this situation by failing to address the situation head on. Commissioner Traficanti's laughable, limp-wristed request to have the county employees pay 10 percent of their health care comes home to roost. The commissioners will allow a panel of federal judges to dictate the jail policy. The judges will order Sheriff Wellington to reduce the amount of inmates in proportion to the number of jailers.
The commissioners may be further mandated to adequately fund the jail to allow it to be used to capacity, closing the revolving door that now allows county criminals to come and go.
So how will this play out? The sheriff will, by local judges' orders, hire sufficient number of jailers to operate the jail at full capacity, (he could be under federal order to do it). The deputies will come to the bargaining table with a laundry list of demands they think proper. The commissioners are under federal mandate to fund the jail and will capitulate to the demands. The commissioners' will dead pan to the cameras, "We have no choice but to impose more sales taxes to pay the sheriff department salaries." Three years later, the deputies are back with a fresh contract proposal. Get the picture?
How do you deal with the present situation? Figure out how many deputies it takes to operate the jail at capacity. Take the present figure in the sheriff's budget allotted to salaries, wages, and benefits and divide that by the required number of deputies and operate the jail at capacity.
If it means the commissioners cutting the wages in two, slashing the health care package and having the deputies pay half of the premium and eliminating the pensions, so what? The management at Delphi, GM, Ford and Forum is doing it.
The deputies hold the citizens at bay with in excess of 100K a year wages and benefits packages, while the taxpayer/citizen's compensation has been drastically reduced or forced to live on fixed retirement incomes.
THADDEUS M. PRICE
Warren
Airmen flew with valor
EDITOR:
I read with interest the article on the front page of the Dec. 24 Vindicator questioning the authenticity of the story that the 332nd Fighter Group, "The Tuskegee Airmen," never lost a bomber they were escorting due to enemy fighter planes.
It's true that many bombers were lost over Italy and Germany. Some were lost due to anti-aircraft and flak, and even possibly to enemy fighters. It's immaterial. Many bomber crews stated they were happy and relieved when they learned they were being escorted on the mission by the 332nd Fighter Group, the "Tuskegee Airmen."
During WW II, the armed forces were strictly segregated and the 332nd Fighter Group was an experiment to see if "colored" pilots had the mental skills and physical reflexes to fly combat missions in fighter planes. The 332nd Fighter Group definitely answered that question.
Whether the Tuskegee Airmen did or did not lose a bomber to enemy fighter planes is irrelevant. They flew fighter cover with valor and distinction, and that's how history should remember them. Period.
As an Army veteran of WW II, I am offended that they would cast these aspersions in an attempt to detract from the exploits of these brave fighting men after all these years.
WILLIAM BOWDEN
Canfield