I had this in here last time but it bears repeating 🙂
There is an important election coming up for our city! If you like the direction it's going, pay attention to who's on the ballet and what kind of promises they're making.
If a candidate knocks on your door offering gold rainbows, they're likely NOT telling you what it'll cost you (hint: a new fire station at this time will result in a 34% increase in taxes). Ask them how they'll pay for it and be prepared for silence.
In 5-6 years we'll have a LOT of revenue coming in from the commercial/industrial areas and it'll be MUCH more affordable.
Another hint? Who's backing that candidate?
Ask deliberate questions and wait for clear answers!
If you (or your group) want to talk to me about the election, feel free to email or call and I'll come to you.
Or if you want a sign, please let me know.
We had 6 fire fighters added to the roles... The initial 6 months of training for a new fire fighter is hard on everyone involved. Kudos to them for giving up their time for public service and to their family... for giving up THEIR time for public service 🙂
Item K (DDA Study)
Well... Another study. This was a preliminary review of what the study has found so far and the direction it was going. This study I had hoped was going to provide some value.
I was under the impression our goal here was to get job descriptions and some idea of what our levels of staff for various areas should be based on something tangible. So far I haven't heard that.
You can read it for yourself (it's in the agenda) but the only input regarding the numbers we should be thinking about comes from internal staff. While their input should be part of the process, making it the sole input means we could have saved the money spent on the study.
The work done thus far was prior to us adding 13% more staff for the coming year.
Hopefully the discussion will redirect things a little bit.
Item L (Long Term Plan)
Well... I believe council member Salonek brought this up at the last meeting to talk about some of the items on there.
When I started my term, one of the items I wanted to see agreed to was that the long term plan would not be modified by staff without the council approval. The long term plan is often used as a hammer to push the council a certain direction. One of the things I've learned over my tenure is the many ways staff can drive the council's direction. Providing many solutions to a problem is what I like to see, using excuses such as "well, it's on our long term plan" is not. I might add here that studies are more often than not used as hammers as well.
We ended up pushing this out for a few reasons, but primarily it's likely the election will dictate a lot of what happens in that plan.
I'll leave it at that 🙂
Item M (Fire Master Plan RFP)
Speaking of studies....
So here we are 3 years after the last fire study ($26k) with another study being pushed. It might be my bias, but every topic brought up that the new study would cover... was covered in the last plan. The reason given for needing to do this (today... as it was different when this came up a few weeks ago) is the authors didn't have expertise in what was being studied. Never mind that, at the time, the fire department leadership was flaunting it as THE study we needed to memorize, absorb, and follow since it was based on experts in the field. And... not following it meant we didn't care about people.
This is going to sound cynical, but I see another hammer being forged.
Three of the council members were convinced we needed to spend $45k on this study. Member Salonek and myself voted no.
All I can say here is this was to discussion negotiations with various property owners regarding a land purchase.