January 27, 2019
This is long but please take the time to read it. Many of our friends have been so supportive of us over the past year after we’ve been open about our lack of pay and support from the city. I wanted to share this information with you because it’s not only important to us, but important to many of our friends and the citizens of Lee’s Summit. The city has plans to develop more land, add more apartments and on the south end add high density housing.
Currently, we as a city are short on first responders. Our police regularly run at minimum and we have very few applicants to fill positions. We regularly lose officers to other cities. The same can be said for the fire department. A very big reason behind this is the fact that our city falls so low on the pay scale compared to surrounding cities. We have been in negotiations and jerked around by the city for almost 2 years. We’re not asking to be above the pay scale for surrounding cities, we’re asking to be brought up to a comparable level. We’ve had many negotiation meetings and have had no resolutions.
Last week, the proposal by the city was to give us pay raises but cut our benefits and charge us more for those benefits in order to pay for a raise. Basically getting a raise would do us no good and could potentially cause more harm in this situation because we’d be paying more out of pocket for less benefits and more money for our insurance in general. Our insurance has continually gone up and we make less money every single year. To say this is disheartening is an understatement. It’s a huge slap in the face.
My husband walks out the door every single day and does his job to the best of his ability for the city and the people in it. There’s a possibility when he leaves because of the risk involved that he could not return home to us and unfortunately we work for a city that does not show support for the hard, ugly work that our first responders do. Not only do many of our men (and women) sacrifice their safety, time, holidays, weekends for our city so do we as families. We have to spend even more time without our police officer because he has to work overtime regularly to make sure that we can pay our bills. Every single month is a struggle. We’ve heard promises from city officials about making things better, but we’ve yet to have follow through that would actually benefit our families in any way. Not only is it offensive, it hurts.
The reason more development matters is that with more development comes more crime and more emergencies. If we are already understaffed and are not getting enough qualified applicants to fill positions we will be completely overwhelming our first responders and simply put we may not have enough.
Please consider going to city council meetings, voicing your opinion, writing your city council representatives and letting our city officials and administrators know how you feel about all of the city developments as well as how our first responders are being compensated and treated. We appreciate your love and support as we continue to struggle to be treated fairly.