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Firefighters union sets town hall meeting for Saturday

By Staff | Sep 15, 2010

The Cape Coral Professional Firefighters Union has a town hall scheduled for Saturday, an effort they say will help to dispel misinformation floating around the community about the fire department.
Union President Mark Muerth said the town hall was planned before the recent uproar over proposed wage cuts in next year’s budget.
“It just fell in line,²”Muerth said of the town hall’s timing. “But it’s an effort to have the community’s questions asked, answered, and discussed.”
Muerth said the town hall will present facts in a fair and balanced manner, and not resort to perceived fear tactics if payroll is indeed reduced by $1.7 million.
“If I’m just going to say the sky is falling, it doesn¹t serve any purpose,” Muerth said.
City Manager Gary King recently presented a budget with a 6.7 percent payroll reduction across the board, a move that sent police, fire and general employees into an uproar.
The cuts will be used to supplement reserve funds.
Muerth said the budget proposal would be addressed, but so would any other questions attendees have.
Muerth said he expects several hundred people to attend. He’s hoping they won’t just be fire fighters and fire department supporters, either.
“My hope is not to just get supporters but individuals who are concerned with what they’re paying for, what kind of bang they¹re getting for their buck,” he said.
While he doesn¹t expect every person to walk away satisfied, Muerth just wants to opportunity to answer questions directly.
“People have asked why we have a fireboat,” Muerth cited as an example. “We will answer that and while it may not satisfy that person, we want to have an opportunity to explain why we do what we do.”