Police, firefighters risk lives, deserve boost

Re: the April 10 letter to the editor “Sick-leave justification was unbelievable.”

To the letter writer I would ask if, in his life’s work, he has ever:

Worn a bullet proof vest to work? Pulled a lifeless child from a pool and looked into his parents’ eyes? Run into a burning building to save a life? Worked outside in the Arizona heat to protect the land and the people from the inevitable summer wildfires?

Has your wife or mother ever gone to their knees when you left for work, asking God to return you healthy and whole at the end of your 24-hour shift?

Police and firefighters never know if they will survive their shift, and yet are willing to “saddle up” every day. These people have chosen to work to protect people’s lives. I think we should say to them, “Thank you. What can we do to make your job easier?”

Frances Coppen

Retired radiologic technologist, Tucson

Military’s sick-leave policy is ‘use it or lose it’

Re: the April 6 article “Top police, fire officials cash in on sick leave.”

Interesting that some city employees believe they have earned the right to sell back unused sick leave. During my entire military career, neither I nor anyone that I knew was ever allowed to sell back unused sick leave to the government.

We risked our lives on a daily basis like everyone else, and were reminded at the end of the year to “use it or lose it.” Yes, we had base shopping privileges, and retention bonuses for certain job classifications, but sick leave was just that.

If the city council is going to continue to approve this practice, I think sick leave should be eligible to be sold back at a discounted rate only. Less than their regular pay rate.

Eric Rose

Businessman, Tucson

ASU students, not Crow, brokered fee deal

Re: the April 6 column “ASU winning by charging students $150 for athletics.”

Greg Hansen’s column misrepresented the origins of the Arizona State University athletics fee. The fee proposal was first crafted by the duly-elected presidents of ASU’s five student governments. It was then sent to the five legislative bodies.

After collecting student feedback, each legislative body voted in favor of forwarding the proposal to ASU president Michael Crow and the Board of Regents. To say that Crow “brokered a deal” is false; the students brokered the deal to increase our say in athletics and ensure the proper investment of tuition dollars in the university.

The fee does not increase ASU athletics’ budget since they are losing their share of tuition. The fee’s charter explicitly states that the funds will not be used for coaches’ salaries or stadium renovations. The funds will be used to increase the student experience at games, marketing and supporting student research.

Furthermore, the tuition reinvestment will go to increasing teaching assistants’ salaries, improving academic advising and licensing graduate school test preparation programs.

Megan Fisk

Graduate student, Tempe

HB 2517 would punish local officials, cities

Should public officials be punished for doing their jobs? According to the prevailing wisdom in Phoenix, the answer to this question is “yes.”

HB 2517, a bill that is likely to pass the Legislature, will penalize locally elected officials who try to protect public safety by enacting firearms regulations in violation of the state’s preemption laws.

Not only will our elected officials be subject to fines up to $5,000 and termination from employment, but local communities may also be subject to fines up to $100,000 if a suit is brought claiming damages on the basis of the regulations.

Intimidation is a tool of high school bullies and demagogues and has no place in a democratic form of government. Ask Gov. Brewer to veto HB 2517.

Meg Pradelt

Retired, Tucson