The Barstow Police have been losing good officers due to being paid 25% less than the average for law enforcement throughout the County. As someone who is aware of the importance of good community policing, I spoke out in favor of the need for the raise. The raise was opposed by Mayor Dale and his “ditto” friend the recently recalled Councilman Luellig. Many believe the Mayor has a hidden agenda of doing away with the Barstow Police and replacing them with the S.B. County Sheriff’s Department. This change would run contrary to the concept of community policing. We were told that the City could not afford the raise and that it would create millions in red ink but as soon as the raise was passed we learned that it would not have that effect after all. Recently the City Council voted to sell its used telephones to the Fire Department. Sell? Why wouldn’t we give them the used phones? The old hospital has been condemned because it fails to meet earthquake standards. We could have already had the ribbon cutting on the new hospital but instead the ground breaking is still two years away due to needless delays by the City. The deal that was finally approved with the City was the exact same deal that was on the table before millions of dollars and years of studies. We do not have an adequate emergency plan to deal with the inevitable major earthquake. At the end of July there was a fire at the El Rancho Motel. This relative small disaster demonstrated major deficiencies in our preparedness. Still there is a total disconnect between the City and all issues relating to public safety.