Letters to the editor Nov. 19, 2023

To the Editor,

The council members of El Dorado are at the time of year to consider raises for employees across the city. I am writing this today to highlight that one of the city departments has proven through exhaustive research that its employees are dramatically underpaid -- approximately 10% below the state-wide average for their profession and the services that they provide.

The data study shows that the El Dorado Fire Department is 35th of 42 departments, making us the 8th lowest paid in Arkansas. El Dorado Fire is the lowest paid in the Golden Triangle and the second lowest in the seven departments of the southwest region of the state, despite answering nearly as many calls in our district as the remaining six southwestern departments combined. Although nearly half of the calls for service in the southwest region of Arkansas are made and answered by EFD (remaining within the city limits and offering mutual aid to surrounding departments), we are not compensated at a competitive rate. The firefighters of the city of El Dorado answered nearly 4,500 calls last year. The city with the second highest call volume was Texarkana at 1,651 calls last year. The certified firefighter at that department makes 13.5% more than his/her El Dorado counterpart.

Although we do not expect the council to do anything that would endanger our city's financial stability, we must find a solution to attract and keep quality candidates. The El Dorado Professional Firefighters are pleading with our friends, family, and the citizens we protect to reach out to their elected representatives and ask them to prioritize your local firefighters.

Justin Tolin

President, El Dorado Professional Fire Fighters Association

To The Editor:

I would like to say Thank you, Thank You! Thank you to God, The Bailey Family, The Sugartown Motorcycle Riders for sponsoring the Tenth Annual Sharion Bailey Whitlock "Thanksgiving Soul-food "Good for the Body & Soul" Community Dinner on November 4, 2023. God blessed us to have a wonderful time with eating delicious soul-food and experiencing great fellowship and unity. We would not have completed this successful task without God. Kitchen Committee and Volunteers: Lillie Hill, Joyce Avery, Candice Carter & daughter, Alice Carter, Valerie Smith, Sugartown Riders-El Dorado Chapter, Dr. Steve Owen, Nancy Owen, Boomer Hill, Caterer: Lillie Hill, Jilly Jill's. Grand Marshall-Chief Kenny Hickman, Spoken Word-Dr. Steve Owen, Servers: Chief Kenny Hickman, Dr. Steve Owen, Nancy Owen, Sugartown Riders-El Dorado Chapter, Aleah Curley, Facebook photographer-Sandra Jamerson. Special thank you to donors: Rev. Thomas Sanders & Sis Estella Sanders, Dr. Steve & Nancy Owen, Dr. Jed Frisby, The Bailey Family and Private donors. Special thank you to each and everyone that came through the drive thru and picked up your hot delicious soul-food dinner. El Dorado Police Dept. Officers who directed traffic so everyone would be safe. El Dorado School District for allowing Meet Me At The Court to use the TAC House Kitchen area, and Sugartown Riders-El Dorado Chapter for beautifying the area after the Sharion Bailey Whitlock Soul-food Thanksgiving Dinner was over. RJ Trophies, El Dorado News Times: Tia Lyons, Matt Hutcheson, Martha Benton. To God Be The Glory. If it's the Lord will see ya next year.

CEO/Founder, Meet Me At The Court

Veronica Bailey

El Dorado

Dear Editor:

The next presidential election will not be normal, this is why. The next president will be a woman, how she become president will be one of those Oh! My God situation but legal. She will have to deal with things like, a divided government, Antichrist, false prophet, the devil and a newly form European Union will at last put Humped Dumpy back together again. Russia, China and Iran will still be a problem, million of people will be taken from the earth by the Rapture and God because He is holy will pour his wrath upon a sinful world for a period of seven years. This nor any opinion I just write what I am told.

Eddie Barnes

Bernice, La.