Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Fellow Community Members:
A few of you have shared concerns in the last few days about the fact that city government is considering a proposal to partially consolidate police dispatch services. Particularly given the strong rhetoric swirling in recent reports on this issue, I understand those concerns – and I respect them.
Those of you who know me understand how important – and how personal – the question of integrity is to me, both as an individual, and as your Mayor. I know the same is true of each of my colleagues on City Council. It is a goal of our city to ensure that Saline’s government operates with openness to its citizens, and we have done some good work in that area in recent years.
Semantics and one-liners aside, the suggestion that some “action” has been taken behind closed doors is simply inaccurate. As of this writing, staff has been empowered to investigate whether a certain policy change is feasible, and to explore all options. No action was taken; Council convened into a closed session with our attorneys to discuss legal options, so that we could proceed responsibly.
Elected leaders have the responsibility to scrutinize and consider any and all changes that could save precious tax dollars without compromising the high quality of service that citizens demand. This is a core responsibility of leaders; simply put, if we chose not to look at every area for potential savings, we would be failing you. That doesn’t mean that we always find areas for cost-savings and efficiencies, but we absolutely must look for them.
One reason why I feel the city should investigate a policy change is that consolidating dispatch services has proved successful in other communities, without compromising citizens’ safety or limiting the ability of law enforcement professionals to do their jobs well. At this point, we don’t know whether the change will make sense for Saline, but we remain committed to supporting our strong public safety programs and professionals.
Council remains committed to engaging with the people we represent. On that note, I welcome the opportunity to meet with any citizen who wants to share their thoughts, or learn more. Please email me at [email protected], or call me at 734-429-4907 Ext. 2213.
(This letter was submitted by Saline Mayor Brian Marl.)