Finally, somebody to represent city taxpayers

To the editor:

Hats off to Mayor Oscar Goodman. Finally we, the beleaguered taxpayers, are beginning to see politicians with some back bone ("Mayor proposes mass firings," Thursday Review-Journal).

For the past 60 years, union leaders have browbeaten weak local, state and national elected officials into accepting exorbitant pay packages.

It is way past time for these so-called union leaders to come to their senses on pay and retirement. Union members are logical people. If everyone else is taking pay cuts it's only natural that organized labor join the trend and share the responsibility.

Unions are now a real threat to the future of this once great country.

Again, bravo for Mayor Goodman and his stand against these unreasonable people and in favor of the regular folks.

Dick Anderson

North Las Vegas

To the editor:

Good for Oscar Goodman. Public-sector unions are raping the country. It's past time government unions be banned.

Fred Charette

Las Vegas

To the editor:

I watched the March 10 Las Vegas City Council meeting on television, and while I certainly understand why in today's economy there need to be cuts in operating budgets, I think the City Council has used a meat cleaver approach that needs to be re-thought before these cuts are set in concrete.

The future of our community is dependent on the education of our children and the assurance to potential employers that Las Vegas will have a skilled, ambitious and loyal work force. The city's part in supporting the education of young people includes art, music and recreation. So when there is a budget crunch, why is it always the arts and youth recreation that are the first things cut?

In the presentation by City Manager Betsy Fretwell, it showed a reduction of another 50 jobs in the Leisure Services Department. This is in addition to at least 20 jobs already cut in that department. Are you saying that there really are no other ways to effect these savings in the city's proposed $493 million budget?

It was suggested that the X-Treme Sports program be eliminated entirely to fund the partial restoration of Reed Whipple. Why is eliminating a terrific program that serves at-risk youth the only way to help youth music and theater programs survive? Why is it always an either/or proposition for programs that educate our young people and set them on the right path?

Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese denigrates the X-Treme Sports program without an understanding of what it's all about. It is far more than just "teaching kids how to skateboard." It is mentoring at-risk youth, many of whom have little parental supervision and weak role models. Is it better to have these kids riding their boards, unsupervised, in business parks, apartment complexes, senior centers or weaving in and out of traffic on our city streets?

Isn't competent adult supervision part of the growing-up process required to move adolescents on to productive lives in our community? I have four sons and have worked with other kids as a volunteer here in Las Vegas and can see the very real value that this program has to kids, parents, business owners and landlords and homeowners in our city.

It's my understanding that X-Treme Sports brings in more money through sponsored events and contributions by youth-oriented foundations than it spends on their entire budget. A program that pays for itself should be maintained if, indeed, it serves an important function. I strongly believe that X-Treme Sports does exactly that.

Dale W. Davidson

Las Vegas