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Plymouth Township Firefighters Urge 'No' Vote

Firefighters say millage question not what was proposed in petition.

In an advertisement issued today, the Plymouth Township firefighters have come out against a ballot question that would pose a millage question to maintain existing fire and EMS services in the township.

In the ad, the firefighters say the ballot question is not what was sought when the Citizens Action Group gathered petition signatures over the summer.

"The referendum on Tuesday’s ballot for a millage increase to help maintain Plymouth’s fire and emergency medical service is not the one proposed by the firefighters and the Citizen Action Group that supports our commitment to protecting our neighbors," the ad reads.

The Citizens Action Group's petition sought a one-mill increase for five years to fund firefighter-provided EMS and preserve current full-time personnel in the wake of the the City of Plymouth leaving its fire agreement with the township to join with Northville. The departure leaves the township with less area to cover and a nearly $1 million shortfall for its department. Township trustees budgeted a 23 percent cut this year for the department. As posed on the ballot, a millage of up to 10 mills could be assessed indefinitely in the township.

"Worse yet, the current tax proposal on Tuesday’s ballot is open-ended, instead of being limited to five years, as the Citizen’s Referendum proposed," the ad reads.

The millage question hasn't found much support in the community, as players on both sides have publicly opposed the proposed millage, at least how it it is worded on the ballot. Township officials, the Citizens Action Group and firefighters have all urged residents to vote "no."

PeteKautentayle February 23, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Truth is stranger than fiction. Nice tactic, the old reversearoo. By coming out against it, they are hoping people vote for it.
PeteKautentayle February 23, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Besides, what happens after 5 years?
John McKay (Editor) February 23, 2012 at 08:54 PM
In this case, Pete, they really do want a "no" vote. The language on their petition does differ from what's on the ballot. Because of state law, residents can't set a millage rate or duration of a millage. Township officials estimated cost at 2.444 mills to maintain everything including legacy costs while petitioners had estimated 1 mill to keep everything running. As for what happens after five years, trustee Bob Doroshewitz raised the same question in his recent letter to the editor (http://patch.com/A-qPrl). He characterizes the effort as a band-aid fix to a long-term funding problem. It wasn't clear in the group's efforts what would then happen after five years. But I would highly doubt this is a political game by the firefighters to get people to vote "yes." By all accounts I've seen, they really don't want voters to support this. I have yet to see much support in favor of the ballot question.
Dale Behler February 25, 2012 at 01:45 AM
This whole issue is becoming very confusing. I think someone wants it that way but still trying to figure out who it is. I know I'm totally against closing the Lakepointe Fire Hall because I live in that community. My wife passed away from a long illness six years ago and before he death she required fast EMS reposes on several occasion. The fire department and EMS crews where there in short order every time. That was very conforting to know help was only a very few minutes away because the fire hall was so close. That quick response time would be equally crucial in case of a house fire too. I am willing to pay the extra taxes to have full time firefighters rather than "on call" firemen stationed at the Lakepointe Fire Hall. Do not shortcut safety with a patchwork system.
R. Abraham February 25, 2012 at 01:55 AM
I would like to know why some people have such hatred for the fire dept? Some will say its due to us not taking concessions. False. We've offered concessions from the beginning, before any firefighter were laid off over 2 years ago. I wish the public was allowed in negotiations to see what has been offered. Some say we make to much money. All the surrounding area fire departments salaries are higher then ours. So, why do some of our fire fighters make more? Tons and tons of overtime. Some say they pay our salaries because we are paid from tax dollars. If you work for Ford, McDonalds, Kroger or any business that has a product, do I not help pay your salary by buying from your employer? So, we all pay for each other. I know times are tough and communities have to make cuts but look at how others do it. Most say, "our fire department offers an outstanding service, but cuts need to be made". Not in Plymouth Twp. They (elected officials) only want to put negative remarks out to the public about us. I've been win the dept for almost 11 years and have always given 100% on fire/medicals in the Twp/City of Plymouth. I know we have a lot of supporters that know the truth and I thank you. To Pete K....really? Everyone is allowed to write their own opinion/theory, that's the great thing about America. Just so you know, there is no "reversearoo" agenda. Your Plymouth firefighters do not support this millage.
RIGHT VS WRONG February 25, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Pete, I am a principal of the Citizens Action Group. WE DON'T HAVE ANY HIDDEN AGENDA! We want you to vote "NO" on this unlawful, ballot language. We have filed an appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals, to place the ballot language that the "people of Plymouth Twp." asked for, but the Twp. officials "snaked" their way around. The "correct" (1 Mill/5 years) ballot question "will" be on the August, 2012 ballot. Re: what happens in 5 years? We will have a "new" Bd. of Trustees"; one that will accept the Fedreral "Safer Grant" of $880,000; one that will allow Twp. FF's to transport all EMS patients for a new revevenue of $500,000; and one that will accept the Fiferfighters concessions of over $700,000, that the current Bd, of @#$%^&*, won't! REMEMBER ALL OF THIS IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS!
PeteKautentayle February 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM
I will remember in November and will be voting for very last one of them. No one hates he fire department Abraham. We only want to se our money spent in the best way, like that great article hat one trustee wrote said
Ocelot Madness February 25, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Thats great the fire department could bring in $500k in revenue transporting patients. I keep hearing the term "revenue" used though and not "profit". How much do costs go up transporting people? (Please don't give me the "we wont have to add anyone line" because we can't have firefighters leaving the community for extended periods without having someone to cover them.) Doesn't really seem worth it to bring in $500k in revenue if it costs $400k in expenses and then the citizens have to pay for the fire departments absurd retirement package. The Safer Grant also only lasted for a few years. Not much of a long-term solution. Seems more like a solution to keep paying firefighters absurd amounts for a few more years than anything else. Say what you want about the Board, but the fire department is just as broken of a system as most of our government is in this country today and it needs to change. At least the Board is smart enough to realize that.
Tim Reynolds February 25, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Gee Ocelot guess you picked the wrong profession while trying to make a killing in the private sector. Public Servants for years made less then most in the private sector mostly for job security and benefits that you find "absurb". Your short sightedness shouldn't pull the rug out from under those that serve in professions that you wouldn't dare do. Protecting you and your family.
R. Abraham February 25, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Pete and all others that say our retirement benefits are so outrageous, almost all the current board members are the ones who gave us these benefits. It was not through binding arbitration that we receive our pension. Then, they gave those same, if not better, pension to our PD and our fire chiefs. Then we speak of too many employee at the FD. We have 7 a shift. We have 3 fire stations strategically placed for xway entrance and railroad crossings. Each station has only 2 ff staffed, except for station #1 that sometimes has 3. I don't know how that is over staffed? Maybe I think of my families safety differently. We will have to respect the Twp voters decision however they choose, I just hope they get the chance on what was actually proposed.
R. Abraham February 25, 2012 at 08:11 PM
These are the kind of stories we at the Plymouth (not sure what to put next because no one will tell us) Fire Department have to read about how other cities board members talk about their FD.... Taken from Canton Observer: The fire occurred across the street from where Canton Township Trustee Pat Williams and his family live. He and others saw the fire, and he lauded the job of local firefighters who battled it. “I thought they did a phenomenal job,” Williams said. “They certainly saved the homes on either side of the property due to their quick response.” I've seen comments where we were the last FD to respond to a certain fire. Never once, has the person who wrote that used a real name. Nor have they provided the proof or whole story. For instance, I was the first responding crew to a fire in Canton a few years ago. Canton was fighting another fire while we (PCFD) made initial attack mutual aid. Never once did I hear Canton papers, bloggers or board members make the statement of, "Canton FD responds last". That's how mutual aid works. Only thing I ever received was a letter from Canton Twp thanking us for our assistance.
Alexander February 26, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Only 2 personnel at each station? That's totally unacceptable, what are 2 people on a fire engine going to do at a structure fire, or even a vehicle fire for that matter? Not to mention that you only have six, maybe seven total on duty all the time. These staffing levels need to be bumped up, I don't care what others say.
PeteKautentayle February 27, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Right on, Alexander. I heard there were some 40 people at the Kilwin's fire. That's what they need in PT, the same thing we have in the City. Congratulations to Mayor Dwyer. PT needs the to join us here in Plymouth City.
R. Abraham February 27, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Not sure the 1st amendment was intended to hide cowards behind false names. Guess that's just the norm now aye Pete?
R. Abraham February 27, 2012 at 01:57 PM
That goes for both sides if you know what I mean? AKA, people who seem to know much about the fire side and Twp side.
D. Fabbri February 29, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I looked at yesterdays ballot and couldn't believe what I was reading, a 10 mil increase, for what? I think I broke the pen marking no and I'm telling you what, I will now vote no in November as well because of this huge game being played by both sides. Smoking mirrors, man behind the curtain, all of it. Shame on both sides for clouding this issue to such a point I cannot support any of it. Bring on Paid On Call and privitize all else. Wow, 10 mils, really!!!???

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