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Local Firefighters Union Question Mayor Henry's 2014 Budget

There's going to be fewer firefighters on the street everyday,” said Scott Hinton, Treasurer, Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters Union.
 The Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters Union claims Mayor Tom Henry's 2014 budget does not deliver on what it initially promised.

“There's going to be fewer firefighters on the street everyday,” said Scott Hinton, Treasurer, Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters Union. 

Hinton says there are discrepancies in Mayor Tom Henry’s 2014 budget.

“We don't feel that they have been upfront with us at all. We want them to show us where every dollar is going, because right now we don’t know where money is going,” said Hinton. 

Earlier this summer, an increase to the local option income tax was approved by Fort Wayne City Council.  The revenue from that bump is expected to generate $4.7 million for public safety.

The police department will use $1.5 million of that to hire 20 new officers and the fire department will bring on 15 new fire fighters costing $1.2 million--Totaling $2.7 million.

“That means there’s $2 million in that balance and we don't know where that money is going,” said Hinton. 

John Perlich, Mayor Tom Henry’s office, says The Professional Firefighters Union has expressed some of its concerns with the cities administration.

 “We certainly stand by our financial data,” said Perlich.

 The Fire Department will also see a $1.2 slash to its overtime budget.  Hinton says that equals about five firefighters being pulled off the streets everyday.  

“We certainly don't see a public safety risk. We know that each fire station is going to have the appropriate personnel to respond to an emergency,” said Perlich. 

 “It absolutely becomes a safety concern for Fort Wayne,” said Hinton. 

Hinton says the union plans on bringing some of these questions up at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting, to hopefully get some answers before the budget is voted on.  The vote is scheduled for Oct. 22.

 

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