On page two of the July 20 Daily Record, an article titled "Police contracts can stand in the way of accountability" was published. It details police contracts countrywide that permit gross inequities to its citizens without accountability and with complete secrecy.

The article goes on to say that, uniformly, the public was totally unaware of all of these negative contract provisions. Clearly, if they were made public, there could be major questions, concerns and, hopefully, changes.

Union contracts in private enterprise and public enterprise are different. One is between a private company and its private employees. A potential customer can choose to buy or not buy the company’s products.

The other is between a public government and public employees. Because it is a public service, our tax dollars pay for it. Therefore, the ultimate boss of a public government is its citizenry. Citizens delegate authority to elected or appointed officials who work for the citizenry. If there is a financial settlement because of malfeasance or illegality by a public employee, the citizens pay, not the public official.

Many of the tragic offenses by police departments that we see nationally are done by a small percentage of very bad apples. However, the significant hidden culprit are these secret contracts that permit negative acts to be unpunished. Clearly, all public contracts for all public employees governed by a union need far more accountability and all public contracts, including the police, should be made public to the citizens prior to ratification so they can advocate for change if necessary.

P.S. Defunding police can be done only by the individual city government. Presidents and presidential candidates may not do so, and should not be accused of contemplating doing it. In addition, no member of our Wooster City Council or the mayor has advocated defunding our police department, and they are the only ones who can do so. However, we should be able to see the public contracts.

David Broehl

Wooster