City Council has tabled a proposal to hire, for the first time, part-time firefighters to beef up the Fire Department staff, instead opting to seek a tax increase that would pay for additional full-time firefighters.
The Strongsville Fire Fighters Association, the union representing firefighters here, opposed hiring the part-timers, saying it would undermine the professionalism of their department. The union supports the tax increase -- which residents will vote on Nov. 3 -- and expanding the full-time staff.
Matt Kasza, firefighters union president, said in a June 25 email to council that the city administration failed to thoroughly explore the implications of hiring part-time firefighters.
“The Fire Chief (Jack Draves) did not form a committee, no studies have been done and there is no cost-benefit analysis,” Kasza said in the email. “There is also no plan on how part-timers would be implemented into fire department operations.