Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Where’s fire department accountability?

Letter by Gayle Holm, Tacoma on April 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm with 8 Comments »
April 29, 2011 12:52 pm

Is there no accountability for performance or oversight of the Tacoma Fire Department budget?

An article (TNT, 4-28) stated the Tacoma Fire Department is currently over budget by more than $600,000. City of Tacoma public record shows the Tacoma fire chief’s annual salary between $134,846 and $172,889. Under the direction of the city manager, the fire chief prepares and manages the fire department budget; he is responsible for the supervision and control of expenditures.

While we as taxpayers are financially obligated for these uncontrolled budgets and expenditures, who is accountable for the lack of fiscal responsibility and oversight? Who and how are these issues of poor performance addressed? Maybe it’s time fiscal responsibility and budget control were demanded with performance accountability required.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. Hey Gale, how do you know that there have not been a higher number of fires or other emergencies to which the fire dept. needed to respond? Try to get the rest of the story before you spout off.

  2. Great point Publico, sounds like you got the rest of the story so go ahead and spout off

  3. Evil scary unions!

  4. I would LOVE to see how wonderfully efficient the fire department would be if we only offered a minimum wage salary.

  5. Hey Gayle. I have a great idea. When the fire department runs out of money for the year, we just shut them down so that your taxes won’t increase by $50 a year.

  6. How about a all volunteer fire Dept.?That was what the town had when I was growing up had, and they were very good at what they did.

  7. harleyrider1 says:

    Well, we should move to change some things in the contract. A good first step would be to examine the shifts to eliminate working just a few days a month. Right now we pay them to sleep and work on a 24-hr basis. It only takes a few days in a month to get their 160-hrs in (4-40hr work weeks).

    More than one guy lives out of Country and several live in locations other than Western Washington because it is so sweet of a deal.

    Specialty pay needs to be re-examined. There is “specialty” pay for almost every position on a truck, some of it dating back to when there were bell-ringers.

    The contract is a public document – get a copy. See what you think and let Mr. Anderson or the Council know. Course no one has a better lobbying union the T.F.D. No one.

  8. ItalianSpring says:

    Let the defense of the fire department by cop haters begin. All 70 plus firefighters who are on duty will enjoy their support. The amount of fires that occur on a daily basis justify 70 plus. Right?

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