Dooley should protect pay hikes for First Responders, reader says

Regarding the pay freezes for our county employees, no one would argue with County Executive Charlie Dooley that, considering the economy, this is a “difficult time for everybody.”

It has also been an extraordinarily difficult and tragic year for the county’s First Responders who have seen five of their comrades die in senseless, execution-style murders. Two others have died in automobile accidents while on duty and two more from injuries suffered years ago while on duty.

Instead of making across-the-board wage freezes and then whining about how difficult that decision was, Mr. Dooley needs to offer us tough leadership. He should protect the 3-percent wage hikes for the First Responders — period. He should roll up his sleeves, go back to that budget and make the cuts elsewhere.

The community’s thanks and appreciation for its firefighters and police officers are important. It is Mr. Dooley’s job to see that such support is not just lip service.

Tell the county executive so by sending an e-mail to cdooley@stlouisco.com.

Patricia Clements

Oakville