The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by Pat Ward of Decorah:
It is my understanding no resolution has been made in the firemen (overtime issue).
First of all, the city budget. Although broken down to many different areas, it still starts as one large lump sum. Therefore the $18,000 raise (to City Administrator Chad Bird) as well as overtime for three firemen comes from the budget as well as all other expenses. This fix would require moving dollars from one line to another.
I would suggest if the mayor and council members made this decision to lock the fire house, it's time to get rid of them. They are elected officials so we need to vote in new people that will do the will of the people. If in fact it was the city administrator's decision, now with wages competitive, he needs to be removed from office. The Iowa "at will" law makes this an easy fix.
Lastly and maybe most importantly is the fact that all homeowners will have to pay increased rates for their home insurance. When response time goes down, insurance rates go up, so this will affect every single person who depends on the Decorah Fire Department. Also, in greater danger are the homes on fire and God forbid, the people and pets whose lives may be in peril.
All city officials need to apologize to each and every one of the firemen and thank them for their service.
All of this for a mere couple of thousand dollars.
It's time we all get our priorities straight!