IT WAS NICE to read about the police having a sting operation to capture fugitives. But all that time and effort and taxpayer money - and the same "fugitives" will be out within a day or so doing the same thing, causing havoc on the streets.

Mark Mastrangelo, Philadelphia

Those misused city cars

How much is it costing taxpayers for city vehicles?

Some use these vehicles to transport their children to day care or school. Why aren't they using their own cars for personal errands? I wonder how much that would save the city budget.

Maybe Latrice Bryant and Wilson Goode Jr.'s pay could be cut in half to allow some libraries or fire stations to keep operating. It seems the priority of Mayor Nutter is to cut the veins of the community and not the pocketbooks of the politicians. When Michael Nutter was running for mayor, he made many promises to us but didn't mention he would be closing fire stations, rec centers and libraries. I know our economy is the worst in years, but the sacrifices should be made by all of us, not just a select few.

Gail Williams, Philadelphia

Debatable budget suggestions

Re Michael Kubacki's Dec. 2 letter stating, "There are those who strongly support gay rights, gun control, funding for the arts and green initiatives, but there are tough choices to be made, and the mayor has made the wrong ones."

While I strongly support our police and fire departments, Mr. Kubacki is sadly mistaken in using his personal biases to pick on programs that he believes do not benefit him.

In order to thrive, Philadelphia needs to keep its current businesses and citizens, and attract new ones. The city won't be able to do this if it's seen as denying equal rights for all, refuses to address its gun problem, stops funding for tackling the damage done to its environment, and ignores the monetary and mental benefits to citizens from a vibrant arts and cultural committee.

I encourage Mr. Kubacki to resolve in 2009 to try to understand those who are different from him, to do something for those living in crime-ridden areas, to visit our museums and galleries, to open his mind and take a chance on going to the theater, orchestra or opera, and lend a hand to make our environment cleaner and safer.

Michael A. Ginsberg, Philadelphia

A lesson in pollution

The Monoshone watershed has a network of sewers designed to collect human wastewater and remove it safely for treatment. These sewers are in disrepair and continuously release polluted water into Monoshone Creek at two points: Behind Thomas Mansion at 6245 Wissahickon Ave. and into Saylor Grove at Wissahickon and Rittenhouse.

There's nothing uncertain about this. Our water department is just neglecting its basic responsibilities.

Charles Parsons, Philadelphia