Safety Should Be Every Public Official's First Priority

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Cut the red tape and take down the barriers to getting a safe, flood-proof crossing for the residents of Tonto Basin.

The first priority of every public official at every level of government, in every bureaucracy should be public safety.

If federal red tape is damming up the process to get a safe crossing over Tonto Creek for the residents stranded during floods, that tape should be cut.

Every year, millions of dollars in flood relief is poured into the communities along the Mississippi, Ohio and other Eastern and Midwestern rivers, and those in the paths of hurricanes. If the politicians representing those areas can open the flood gates for financial assistance, our congressional delegation should do no less.

We know we are talking about a handful of people compared to the numbers in those other regions, but the votes up for grabs should not even figure into the equation.

Unfortunately, politics and bureaucracy being what they are, the prevailing winds are not likely to change and get the problem in Tonto Basin solved anytime soon.

But how many times have floods stranded residents? People have already died, how many more must be sacrificed?

The key may be to have the governor take a stand and say the Tonto Creek flood problems constitute a disaster. If recent history is any indicator, that small act seems to move mountains of complications created by bureaucrats.

The weather forecast is pointing to more rain and snow in the coming days, maybe now is the time to try to wash that red tape away.

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