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Irene St. John: Northampton council wrong to reject firefighter pay pact

To the editor:

Can the taxpayers of Northampton really be proud to live in a city that refuses to meet its legal and moral obligations?

When it finally became time for the city to honor provisions of a contract with firefighters for services already rendered, suddenly it couldn’t afford to do so. When my higher tax bill comes due, can I plead inability to afford to pay?

Where are the voices of those who were outspoken about the need to raise the taxes to “insure the quality of life” in our city? How do they feel about the “quality of life” in a city that walks away from a contract reached in arbitration?

It was not the responsibility of the City Council to second guess the decision of the Joint Labor Management Committee. They were only asked to vote on the appropriation of funds already approved and earmarked for this purpose by the mayor. Are they expressing a lack of faith in his ability to manage the city finances?

If you believe that the city should restore its integrity by honoring its promises, contact your city councilors and let them know you want to be proud of your city government.

Irene St. John


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