Putting the more recent failure of the city government's funding oversight and the school election on the back burner, I've had this letter on my mind for some time, and a similar discussion with a good friend reprompted me.
The overall city fire department master plan is a prime example of how the city mismanages our taxes to provide essential city services.
Last year I took a vacation that included tours of San Francisco and Manhattan. During both tours it hit me as to how each major city had used the old "fire houses" into the 21st century. In New York we passed an Engine House where 100 percent of that company perished in 9/11. The building was probably built in the early to mid-1900s.
This city's mindset is to abandon useable structure and build anew. Most of our city's fire stations are located on commercial, industrial or otherwise busy streets where expansion of space could be achieved with dressed-up metal buildings suitable for new equipment needs, so why abandon existing stations (such as is planned at Industrial Drive) for the sake of a new one less than a mile away? The exempt-status railroad is not an issue however it was proclaimed as there is always going to be a fire on the other side of those tracks!
By-the-way, the first cut in the city budget should have been to City Council and mayor salaries for failure of primary responsibility.