TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Several members of the Terre Haute City Council address concerns made by demonstrators and the community.

Prior to their meeting on Thursday, members of the Terre Haute City Council received over a dozen e-mails from community members.

“Basically the e-mails are asking that some of the local income tax dollars that have been earmarked for public safety go instead to other areas such as rehabilitation services, mental health services, homelessness intervention, etc.,” said George Azar, Terre Haute City Council president.

These are some of the same concerns that were conveyed by demonstrators before a Vigo County Council meeting earlier in the week.

Thursday, several city council members made their thoughts known about those speaking out via e-mail.

“Sometimes it’s easy after looking at the first couple of those to get dismissive about the fact that you’re receiving a bunch all at once, but to me the message is important and we need to be paying attention,” said Todd Nation, Terre Haute City Council member.

Councilperson Martha Crossen says she believes Terre Haute has an opportunity to become a leader by making improvements and investments that make the community safer, for both citizens and public safety employees.

“I’m confident that we can find ways to invest the funds that we do have in a way that will make a difference,” Crossen said.

As the city looks at decisions involving the budget, Crossen says she hopes officials look carefully.

“If we don’t direct our funds to changes, we will signal that we don’t really value the change that may be needed,” Crossen said.

Crossen says she hopes to bring together a group of city officials, public safety leaders, and community members to find places where changes can be made.