Yael Abouhalkah writes, “the City Council unfortunately spent millions in earnings tax revenues in the 1990s while handing out excessive pay raises to police officers and firefighters” (8/28, Opinion, “Why KC’s earnings tax matters to suburbs”).
What is the appropriate salary for a police officer to rush to an armed disturbance or a firefighter to run into a burning building? From what experience in doing either does Abouhalkah draw to conclude that the pay of police officers and firefighters is excessive? Generally, police officers and firefighters enjoy middle-class lifestyles, not much more. Is that excessive compensation for the jobs they perform?
Generally, citizens and their elected officials believe that the public is well served by police officers and firefighters and that the pay they receive is well deserved. The same cannot be said for newspaper columnists private sector compensation rather than from tax dollars. However, newspaper columnists don’t often risk serious injury or death, nor are they required to even make sense.
Michael Lee Kobe
Kansas City, Kan.