Can Cornwall Cut Fire Budget? Councilor Mark MacDonald Thinks So – 23/12/14

Can Cornwall Cut Fire Budget?  Councilor Mark MacDonald Thinks So – 23/12/14

mark & andre sept 2014CORNWALL Ontario – City Councilor Mark MacDonald has written to the CAO about getting  grip on rampant increases in Fire fighting that have led to higher taxes in Cornwall.

Mr. MacDonald refers to a story in the Globe and Mail about policing costs.

This just might be something that council might want to consider.   They may even wish to review the contract that former Mayor Kilger and his campaign manager (Chair of the Police Board) gave to police chief Dan Parkinson.

This past summer, Toronto’s civilian oversight board stunned residents when it decided not to renew Chief Bill Blair’s contract. Board insiders say that the chief’s reluctance to embrace major change was a significant factor. Now, the board is on the hunt for a reform-friendly replacement, someone willing to push unpopular restructuring, like what’s been happening in Britain.

and

Over the past four years, British forces already found nearly $4.5-billion (Canadian) in savings.

Mr. MacDonald’s letter to CAO Norm Levac:

Hi Norm:  

Further to our phone conversation regarding the new fire chief, I believe it is possible to cut the overall budget without cutting services and the new council should be taking this direction.  We don’t need to tell the new chief how to get it done, just get it done.

I realize that I am only one member of council however, I believe that our new chief needs to be instructed to reduce the fire budget by 20% (5% per for 4 years).  Also, this must be done by making sure we comply with the regulations of the Ontario Fire Marshal.  Safety to life and property must be #1.

If the new council is to make any significant progress with respect to tackling the ever increasing cost of emergency services (police, fire, paramedic), then it starts with the new fire chief.  We have to rely on the new chief to use all the tools at his disposal to make this happen.  We need to look at sharing services with the counties, especially in the areas where it would be most beneficial to both parties, such as fire prevention, training and staffing.

We have to tell people what they need to hear, we cannot keep the other programs going.  I have attached a link to a story from the Globe and Mail regarding police services in England slashing their budgets by 20%.  When I hear about us recruiting volunteers to flood our rinks, a job that was once done by city workers, it reminds me of this story in the Globe.      

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/a-thinner-blue-line/article21978969/

Thanks Norm, talk soon.

Mark A. MacDonald

What do you think Cornwall?   Can we hire the right people to get a grip on costs?  Is it an actual political mandate or did previous councils trade voter support from unionized service people for fatter contracts?

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