ROC Firefighters unions concerned over budget cuts | News
Just about every fire station in Rochester has been affected by budget cuts over the last few years, and city unions aren’t happy.
The Firefighters union says there are fewer people and trucks in service, and this is taking a toll on the community along with its fire department.
Jim Mctiernan, Pesident of the firefighters local 1071, is concerned about more cuts, especially after hearing the mayor’s state of the city address. Mctiernan says “We've had 6 fire deaths so far this year and some serious fire fighter injuries.”
Mayor Tom Richards explains that the city is currently facing a $40-million deficit. $20-million of which will be offset by a one time gift from the state.
Richards says “there will be cuts in city government. You can't solve a $20 million dollar problem without having an impact.”
Mctiernan believes more cuts would be even more devastating to city residents. To learn more he has hired government finance consultant Edward Fennell to go over the city’s books.
“Tens of millions” is what Fennell says the credit rating agency Moody’s found on reserve in city coffers.
City council member Loretta Scott has made it clear she understands Mctiernan’s quest to restore cuts, but doesn’t appreciate what he’s inferring.
Scott mentioned that if they “had to layoff a couple people here, a couple people there they could appropriate some of those rather than doing it. It has some short term gain. The city is reasonably arguing it has a long term impact...but it's there. We're as concerned about safety as everyone else. I think it's almost hyperbole to attach those deaths to resources”
Additional City Council Member, Carolee Conklin, told us to “Bear in mind out of our property tax over 3/4 of it goes directly to the school aid that we have absolutely no control over and education is equally important too. The well's running dry. That's the bottom line.”