Niagara Gazette

Opinion

January 31, 2013

GUEST VIEW: First responders should be priority in Lewiston

Niagara Gazette — Priorities — we all have them, and we all have to make them. We make them for our family and community. The decision to choose one priority over another can be difficult but the decision should always be based on what is right and beneficial. It should be a priority that will serve the greater good and not based on self-serving reasons.

During their time in public office, elected officials are not only asked to establish but make priorities. The priorities are found in the oath they take and the laws they must follow. Woven within those priorities is a central theme, and it ís to ensure that the health, safety and general welfare of the community and its residents are protected.

So, when the Lewiston supervisor makes the “hair brained,” his words not mine, decision to use $9 million in public money to build a recreation center rather than a much asked for public safety facility for our first responders, I wonder how he establishes his priorities. Also, I wonder with Lewiston getting over a million dollars a year for the last few years, why our first responders have had to wait for such a facility when those same millions are being spent in a wasteful way.

For years, our first responders have asked for such a facility and because elected officials didn’t have the financial means to grant their wish the building of such a facility was placed on the future to-do list. But, through the signing of the relicensing agreement, Lewiston does have the financial means to build such a facility and has either wasted it on land not owned by Lewiston residents or about to be used on a facility not needed to ensure the health, safety and general welfare of the community. Oh, the supervisor will be quick to respond that such a facility will be useful should we have a major flood. Unfortunately, there’s one thing wrong with that reasoning, unless you place this 140,000 square foot facility on very high stilts, a ridiculous idea, or build a very large moat around the facility, an absurd idea, anyone within such a facility, should we have a major flood, will be impacted. But, if the money were used to build a training facility to instruct our first responders on what to do during a major flood lives would be saved and the greater good served.

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