VA funding will fix part of problem
President Obama recently signed a bill into law authorizing the investment of $16.3 billion to alleviate the problem of understaffing at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.
The American Legion leadership and veterans across this nation should be applauded for pushing this issue, as should the dedicated employees who blew the whistle on the grave and unfortunate situation of veterans dying while waiting for medical care.
The additional funding, though badly needed, does not address the systemic problem of incompetence, dereliction of duties and kingdom-building by entrenched bureaucrats who care more about the undeserved bonuses they receive than they do about veterans.
Suggestions for addressing the many problems of a troubled VA system will be thoroughly vetted at the American Legion National Convention, Aug. 22-28 in Charlotte, N.C. As a Vietnam veteran and a post commander, I plan to be in attendance.
Arthur Gossett American Legion Post 73
More police, fire
The author of “Serve, protect?” (Aug. 10 Letters to the Editor) was critical of the Wichita Police Department for not responding to harassing misdemeanor offenses.
But the department has to set priorities. No doubt it would like to respond to all types of calls, but this is not possible unless many new police officers are authorized. Instead of blaming the department, the author should contact the Wichita mayor and City Council and tell them to authorize more officers.
I would like to see more police officers and firefighters on the street, and I am willing to pay higher taxes for this increased level of service.
For 2014, the mayor and council deleted six firefighters and delayed the start of the police recruit class. This action obviously affected the number of firefighters and police officers on the street.
The city is boasting that the proposed 2015 city budget will be the 21st consecutive year that the mill levy has remained stable.
Maybe this is the time for the mill levy to be increased to fund more police officers and firefighters. Reductions could be made in other areas that do not directly affect the average Wichitan.
Perhaps if the city had increased the mill levy in some years, the citizens would not have to vote this November on a sales tax to fund streets and transit.
I am proud of Wichita police officers and firefighters, and the tough job that they do protecting citizens.
LARRY G. WHITE
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