The city of Muskegon has received and is reviewing a controversial proposal to contract fire service from Muskegon Heights, officials said recently.
But a vote on the deal, which calls for the city of Muskegon to dismantle its fire department and contract fire service from Muskegon Heights, is still more than a few months away, said Muskegon City Manager Frank Peterson. The proposal would have Muskegon purchasing fire service from Muskegon Heights for a period of 10 years, with an average cost of $3.6 million for each of the first three years. That's compared to the approximately $3.5 million the city currently pays for its own department.
Peterson addressed the deal during an update to the Muskegon City Commission. He also updated the body on when they might get a chance to review the proposed contract, and on the status of negotiations between the city and the firefighters union.
The city and the firefighters’ union tentatively agreed to a new contract Thursday, one day after the union threatened to picket outside Mayor Paul Heroux’s house.
The pickets have been called off and a cookout the mayor had planned will be held as scheduled Saturday afternoon.
Heroux said the threat of picketing had nothing to do with him agreeing to a new contract, but union President Jacob Springs said he thought it moved the process along. “It absolutely had nothing to do with it,” Heroux said of the agreement and the picketing threat. “The seeds were set weeks ago.”
Springs said the prospect of pickets did impact negotiations.
He said that since the union said it was going to picket, the city put a canceled bargaining session back on schedule and then agreed to a new deal at that session.
Attleboro Sun Chronicle
With a ticking clock growing ever louder in the background, the Orange County Fire Authority rejected several demands made by Irvine that would keep the city in the fold as a voting member of the regional emergency coalition.
“Basically, Irvine was told to pound sand,” said County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who sits on the Fire Authority board of directors.
This throws the ball back into Irvine’s court. The city is expected to weigh its next move on Tuesday, June 26, just four days before a June 30 deadline for deciding whether it will stay or go.
The problem is this: Thanks to property tax formulas that were locked in decades ago, Irvine pays far more to the Fire Authority than it gets back in services. Depending on how you factor it, Irvine’s over-payment could be as much as $23 million a year, or as little as $5 million a year.
The man hailed as a hero for halting a gunman's wild rampage outside the Tumwater Walmart store came forward Wednesday and said he fired his weapon only after it became clear that the gunman might injure or kill more innocent victims if he weren't stopped.
David George, who is an emergency medical technician with the Oakville Fire Department and a pastor at the Oakville Assembly of God, described his harrowing experience at a Wednesday news conference in his hometown.
He said he initially wanted to remain anonymous, not out of shame or regret, but to maintain the "dignity and integrity" of his ministry in Oakville.
KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000
Steve Krentel, whose leadership at a Covington-area fire district has been under assault since last fall, will retire as of Sept. 1, he told the St. Tammany Fire Protection District 12 board of commissioners in a letter Thursday.
Krentel, whose wife was killed nearly a year ago, said in a phone interview that he had always planned to retire as soon as he was eligible to do so.
His departure is not the result of efforts by some other firefighters to oust him, he said, but he added that the "headaches" at work are making it easier to leave. Krentel was demoted from his position as fire chief by the board last month. A week later, the board announced that they had found merit in two of a long list of complaints lodged by firefighter Tom Williamson.