Wednesday’s open line: sanitation vs. cop

In response to a presentation made by Henderson Police Chief Keith Sidwell in which he requested a 15% pay raise for the sworn officers of his department (excluding his office), Henderson City Council member Lonnie Davis stated that “sanitation workers are also very, very important.”

The implication is, of course, the councils-old argument that you can’t give one set of city employees a raise without giving them all a raise.

Unless, of course, you’re one of those city employees who can negotiate a raise into his or her contract.

I couldn’t agree more that sanitation workers are important. Without someone willing to haul away the trash, we’d be hip-deep in rats and creepie-crawlies.

Police officers are important, too. Without someone willing to haul away the trash, we’d be hip-deep in rats and creeps.

We teachers are important too, I’m told in lieu of actual pay.

Heck, we’re all important. (We’re not, but I have to say it anyway. It’s a PC thing.)

That and a buck will get you a cup of coffee in Henderson’s few remaining restaurants. I’ve tried getting it for free at Common Grounds. It goes something like this:

“I’m important! Give me free coffee! And dance for my amusement!”

“Get out or I’ll call a cop and/or sanitation worker.”

Okay, I made up part of that. But the point is pretty simple. This is America. Money talks, and BS walks.

Let’s face it. Some jobs are more important than others. Otherwise, why would there be certifications needed to obtain them and massive amounts of training that go into keeping those certifications?

Oddly enough, when I had my heart attack, I asked to be taken to the hospital, not the county landfill. Maybe I was delirious. Physicians, as it turns out, are very, very important too. I also noticed that they’re pretty well paid, if the bill was any indication.

If you ask me to pick who’s more important, I think I’m going to go with the people who protect my family while I’m asleep.

Nothing personal, sanitation guys. Believe it or not, we have a lot in common. We all do jobs that not many people are willing to do. It’s just that the city’s solid waste doesn’t have gun battles that you have to stop from running through the streets in the middle of the night. Solid waste has never tried to break back into anyone’s house and steal their things and harm their children. Most importantly, the weekly rubbish collection isn’t the only thing between Henderson’s law-abiding citizens and anarchy.

By the way, here’s your open line.