To the editor:
As president of the Sandy City Police Alliance and as a police officer, I am responding to recent claims by Sandy Mayor Steve Newton and some of his councilmen and department heads.They are trying to depict the police alliance as a "union trying to take over the city," and Newton is boasting about his not giving in to the "whims" of the police union as part of his campaign rhetoric.
The idea that the alliance is trying to take over the city is absurd. And, if you call wanting open and responsible city government - which includes allowing the public to have access to actual city expenditures without having to sue for it; city council members who truly represent their constituents; safety for citizens and employees to be top priority; and, wanting to be treated fairly and paid adequately for the work we do - whims, then he is right; he has not given into the whims.
Newton has no idea what the "whims" of the alliance are because he has never met with us to discuss any whims. This is one of our complaints with his administration. He does not communicate; he dictates.
Is Newton to blame for all of the problems we are experiencing within the police department? Obviously not. But if he is unwilling to communicate with us to resolve problems, then he is responsible for his inability to act appropriately.
If the citizens knew what we know about the waste and questionable spending in our city government, they would be irate. It is no coincidence that the number of lawsuits against the city have increased under his administration. At the rate we are going, our tax dollars will be used to pay settlements arising form our administration's maltreatment.
The alliance is supporting Larry Smith for mayor not because he is the perfect candidate, but because he is better than Newton and changes need to be made. Change not only in the mayor's position, but also in the council-at-large position, which is why we are supporting Stan Price against incumbent John Winder.
Al Avila, president
Sandy City Police Alliance