West Bend, WI – Dear Editor, In listening to the debate over the upcoming Washington County law enforcement referendum, I hear two issues: need and cost. Here are some thoughts on both.
Washington County is basically the ‘gateway’ to Wisconsin from Milwaukee County and south, and the City of Milwaukee criminal element has already come to Germantown. If not curtailed, it will move north and west. Many residents in our community, like us, have spent considerable money (triple digits) for safety measures to protect their families and homes – ring-style doorbells and security systems, lights and cameras, etc. So now criminals come armed with spray paint and laser pointers to circumvent such devices.
There are increasing incidents of strangers in people’s yards, vehicle break-ins, attempted carjackings, shoplifting, suspicious solicitations (someone casing the neighborhood??), etc. In short, our community, which once was generally very safe, has changed significantly. It’s actually no longer safe to park a LOCKED vehicle in one’s own driveway.
Inflation is hitting all of us very hard, but the proposed tax amount in the referendum needs some perspective. For my husband and me, that amount would mean giving up a meal, or maybe two, at Culver’s each year, or one night of a couple small steaks on the grill. For us, just ONE such ‘sacrifice’ per year will pay the tax amount, AND potentially keep our auto and homeowner’s insurance from going up because of increased crime in our community. YES, crime impacts insurance premiums. It would also be wonderful if, when our out-of-state children visit, it will be safe again for them to park their locked vehicles in our driveway.
We are definitely being impacted by inflation, particularly as senior citizens. But if we are not safe in our own homes and around our community, we stand to forfeit a great deal more than a two-digit item on our tax bill.
Jean L Merry
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