In an article in ThisWeek Olentangy, Liberty Township fire chief Tim Jensen was quoted as saying the public is "blissfully ignorant" of how township departments operate. Chief Jensen was responding to some criticism about the cost-cutting measures recommended last month by the township's fiscal officer Mark Gerber.

In an article in ThisWeek Olentangy, Liberty Township fire chief Tim Jensen was quoted as saying the public is "blissfully ignorant" of how township departments operate. Chief Jensen was responding to some criticism about the cost-cutting measures recommended last month by the township's fiscal officer Mark Gerber.

While I fully support the work that our township employees do, especially those responsible for public safety, chief Jensen and other township department heads should refrain from insulting the residents they serve by insisting they are somehow entitled to their compensation and benefits packages regardless of the health of the overall economy.

Just like a private sector business, chief Jensen has employees to oversee, equipment to buy and maintain, and services to provide. And while a business can increase the amount of money it has available to pay for these things by selling more of its services, chief Jensen's fire department only has so much taxpayer money each year to get it done. I get that, yet somehow on some level this concept seems to get lost by union leadership when it's time to negotiate the next round of contracts.

What never seems to be fully explained to us private sector employees is why there are always guaranteed pay raises and taxpayer-funded health insurance and retirement for public sector employees in both good financial times and bad ones.

There is almost always union opposition to asking public sector employees to sacrifice when times are lean, like all private sector businesses must do in order to survive. And when a union does agree to some concessions, they always seem to get those back and then some once an economy turns around. I believe fiscal officer Mark Gerber is calling for fiscal conservancy during these difficult economic times, chief Jensen. Don't take it so personally and don't be so blissfully ignorant of his concerns.