The recent pay cuts to the City of Alice first responders raises serious concern to me as a citizen of Alice.

This city council, failure to evaluate the city’s financial budget is not only a neglect of duty, but an indictment of our entire City of Alice. And if our entire City of Alice is at fault, then is this not an insult to the citizens of Alice by our council.

Rather than look at wasteful and unnecessary spending our council prefers to, force retirements of city employees, reduction in pay for city employees and most recently our first responders being dealt a pay cut. Now, the manner in which forced retirements have been chosen seem unethical, but it does not appear to follow any professional policy.

The city must do a few things simultaneous, if they have it within their capacity to do so. First property and sales tax is where the cuts must be done at once. By reducing property tax’s it will encourage new business to come into Alice and entice existing business to expand. Initiative to invite new types of business must then be taken. This can be done by getting American investors to come into town and take advantage of our abundant farm land. Textile mills could grow cotton, then manufacture it here, then send it by rail to the Port of Corpus Christi Texas. where it could be exported and sold to foreign countries. In order for this to take place the city would need to do two things “cut” tax and lower water rates. Then such business could be negotiated, potential investors, that half of executive, management and supervisory positions as well as labor force would go to citizens of Alice. Now since greed seems to blind many, let me tell you how the city would profit from these cuts and end up with a higher tax profit it's simple it's called "volume".

Now, let’s focus on the police department, no pay cuts were necessary. The department must be made more “efficient.” It’s very simple. This department can very easily cut 30 percent of expense without pay or positions being effected, and the number of police officers can be increased.

First and foremost, sale off or trade the entire SUV police units. Replace them with new ford police interceptor with an eco-boost engine. The Ford police sedan can get an average of 30 miles per gallon vs the current Chevy SUV the city has in use that averages 14 miles to the gallon. Without going into detail, by simply replacing the SUV with the Ford sedan, the savings alone on fuel would be a great impact on savings none the less insurance on the smaller car would be a savings that could exceed 15 percent. Another way to increase fuel efficiency, is to have officers turn their cars off when typing reports or checking for traffic violations. I understand it's a little inconvenient but it saves your pay. Also have officers check tire PSI before the start of their shift. An improperly inflated tire increases fuel consumption. Finally proper maintenance having the fleet up-to-date with all filter and fluid changes will definitely keep things running smoothly.

Also a temporary freeze on the city's retirement payments to officers. This would greatly help and would not have affected the pay, in other word's they are not seeing the money right now.

Implement a reserve officer program, have any inspiring officers who wish to enlist with the Alice Police department as a reserve officer be subject to all the testing and background investigations as would a prospective full time officer. Reserve police officers could use the ATV units that the police department have to patrol rural neighborhood areas allowing more police present at no cost to the city.

Yes, a reserve officer program would require additional insurance but the substantial saving's on the fleet would more than remedy the cost. The city also needs to award bids to whoever brings the best prices not who they know, bottom line stop the double dipping.

This is all accomplished, it can be done it must be done. The faith of our city's future is at stake. Negotiation must be painted as a work of art. Gentleman, in closing remember small leaks sink great ships.

Diego Hinojosa, 

Hinojosa Tire Service

Alice, Texas