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Chester County Press

Uncle Irvin: Not enough police and firefighters

05/19/2015 12:38PM ● By Richard Gaw

Another sign that the Kennett region of southern Chester County is changing to a more dense, suburban area is a recent Letter to the Editor from Longwood's Fire Chief.

"We are losing our volunteer firemen," according to Fire Chief A.J. McCarthy. He cites statistics that show an attrition of 250,000 Pennsylvania volunteer firefighters in the last 40 years. The drop in volunteers has occurred when the population has exploded, along with distress calls.

Uncle Irvin has already addressed the shortage of adequate police protection.

It is clear that if we want adequate fire fighting and police protection, we are going to have to allocate more state and local resources to funding them (that is, tax revenues have to shift from somewhere else, or taxes have to be raised).

At this time of year, the state legislature and local school boards are wrestling with bloated budgets and shrinking revenue, largely attributed to being held hostage by school teachers' unions, who are getting a disproportionate share of state and local resources and causing county property taxes to become unaffordable.

Reapportioning our existing revenues means telling legislators and school boards to shut off the windfall to greedy teachers and recycle the tax money to police and firefighters. Eighty percent of local residents have no kids in school, but we all need police and fire protection.

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