[Bruce Call is a former mayor of Pleasant Grove, Utah. I saw this on Facebook just before Election Day and thought it insightful and well written — and applicable to a lot more cities than just Pleasant Grove. He kindly gave permission to reprint it here. As you will see, he moves past the immediate issue very quickly, and on to a crucial lesson for all citizens.]
To my friends who haven’t yet decided on the public safety bond issue:
It won’t come as any surprise that I am 100% in favor of the bond. It was the right thing to do last year, and it’s still the right thing to do. But with all the information, misinformation, and disinformation out there, let me give you a perspective that most of us fail to consider.
I often hear citizens say, “The police and fire employees need to remember that they work for us.” I agree — and I know they do remember that every single day.
But I would like all of us to turn that concept around and understand what it means. The citizens need to remember that they employ the public safety personnel. You are their employer. And having employees comes with obligations.
One of the major obligations of any employer is providing a safe workplace. We do not do that. It is our obligation to provide a safe workplace, and we simply do not do that. If a private company delivered the working conditions that you do for your public safety employees, the world would hold that employer’s feet to the fire in a loud and public way until changes were made.
Imagine an employer who not only won’t fix deplorable conditions, but scoffs at his employees and calls them selfish.
Imagine an employer who doesn’t even know the extent of the miserable conditions of the work environment he supplies, because he’s never even visited.
Imagine an employer who can’t be bothered to talk to his employees or get to know them on any level before deciding that they’re just fine with what they already have.
We want the police and fire to remember who they work for. Okay. So if we want to be thought of as employers, let’s start acting like employers. Responsible employers.
It’s time to step it up and do what’s right by the people who work for us.