Courtesy Accessmilton.com & The Milton Herald
As referenced this past week on Accessmilton.com, the Milton Herald and Accessmilton.com are continuing the Milton Peoples Forum online. The focus
is to ask questions that time did not allow us to address at this past week's event.
In order to insure equal visibility for both districts, District 2 candidates answers will be posted on Tuesday and Thursday evenings while District 6 candidates answers will be listed on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Candidates are limited to a maximum of 200 words per answer and are listed alphabetically.
Our first question is:
Milton currently has excellent fire and police department personnel. How does our compensation package for these individuals compare to what is being offered in adjacent communities and how would you suggest that Milton ensure it retains these good people?
DISTRICT 6 CANDIDATE LANCE LARGE=>
"I recently had the privilege of doing “rides along” with our police and fire departments. Our officers are clearly highly skilled and well trained. Their compensation is comparable to that of Alpharetta. In fact, several officers from Alpharetta chose to work for the Milton Police Department. Unlike in other cities; our police officers do not share cars. This increases the sense of ownership and reduces taxpayer costs due to repairs, wear and replacements.
We are a growing community with new challenges and demands in the areas of public safety. I am committed to working with our police and fire departments to meet these challenges head on. As your Councilman, I will work on two aspects of retention. First, I will work to develop additional incentives, particularly for housing-related expenses, to make living in Milton more affordable. Studies have shown that having police and fire personnel living in the community reduces crime and helps maintain property values. In short, we all would benefit by having more officers living in Milton. Second, I will work on facilitating on-going professional development opportunities. To this end, I will support additional paid time off for advanced training."
DISTRICT 6 CANDIDATE ALAN TART=>
"Our police officers and firefighters are without a doubt among the most professional, highly trained, and best equipped in the state. Our citizens are safer than when we first incorporated as evidenced by the drastic reduction in response times. I have consistently supported increases in staffing with each annual budget cycle to keep morale high, manage burnout, decrease response times, and increase the level of service we provide. For example, I supported hiring an additional fire fighter and four new police officers in the 2012 budget. This will allow us to add an additional police officer to each shift. Our police and fire departments have a very high retention rate due in part to the compensation package we provide including a highly competitive salary, health/dental/life insurance, pension plan, tuition reimbursement, matching 401(k), and a health and wellness program. As a result of our strong financial footing, we have also been able to provide annual cost of living increases that help to keep morale within the departments high. I remain committed to ensuring our police officers and firefighters are recognized, paid competitively, and are provided with the state-of-the-art equipment and training they need to keep themselves and our citizens safe. "