Judge Prochaska’s decision yesterday [July 14] preventing the city from unilaterally closing the Auburn and South Main Street fire stations without arbitration was a victory for Rockford citizens serviced by those stations. Before yesterday, we were faced with a city administration determined to have its way, an administration that didn’t care how much longer it would take for the fire truck or the paramedics to get to our homes.
The city wanted us to believe that the quality of our fire and emergency response could afford to be reduced, because the city couldn’t afford to make spending cuts somewhere else to balance its $5 million deficit. Our safety was less of a concern than City Hall’s spending priorities.
Personally, I support Alderman Frank Beach’s proposal for a 5 percent across-the-board city pay cut to guarantee no fire station closures. His proposal is an effort to maintain the quality of our essential safety services, while working to balance the budget. That’s city leadership I can support.
John M. Guevara
From the Aug. 4-10, 2010 issue