Today the Union Leader reported that a group in Derry is going to hold a rally for the Derry Fire Department before the Derry Town Council’s vote on thebudget (even inviting union members from out-of-town). Really it’s nothing more than a union rally but unions like to pretend they are ‘grassroots’ citizens. As previously reported, the budget cuts have been extremely contentious in Derry.
The unions have had a stronghold on the Town of Derry for many years and that has culminated in excessive abuses of taxpayer dollars and one of the highest tax rates in the state. During the last election, voters demanded the council members cut the tax rate and they are keeping their promise. The Town Council told Town Manager Galen Stern how much they wanted to cut the budget by in which case the departments were to make cuts. They even reduced their original cut of $2.50 down to $2.00.
Since the town departments have refused to make their own cuts to satisfy the budget cuts, the council has told them what will be cut. One of the major points of contention is the closure of a fire department that is 1.3 miles from the Central Station in Derry. In a town of around 33,000 people, Derry has 4 fire departments. During one of the council meetings a comparison to Dover was brought up. Dover has around 30,000 residents yet only has 3 fire departments. In order to see the effect, one can look at the ‘Fire Incident Reporting Data and Statistics’ that are reported to the state each year. These are the latest years, 2014 numbers are not in yet:
2013: Dover 5,118 incidents while Derry had 3,349 incidents
2012: Dover 5,989 Incidents while Derry had 3,353 incidents
So here you have 2 towns with roughly the same number of residents yet Dover has 3 fire departments and still handles more incidents.
Unions are also lying to people that their homeowners insurance will go up. Once again fearmongering residents because they aren’t getting their way. Homeowners insurances will not go up on people because a fire department is now 1.3 miles away from where one was before. Derry uses fire hydrants, homeowners is typically based on proximity from a fire hydrant, not a fire department. By the way, there were only 100 fires in Derry in all of 2013 and only 39 were structural fires.
The truth is that the town council asked the departments to make concessions and come up with budget cuts so that the fire department didn’t have to be closed and no one would have to be laid off but union leaders and department heads blatantly refused. Rather than blame the town council for doing the closure of the fire department or any layoffs that may occur, residents and union members may want to take a look at their leaders for the answers.
And as has already been proven, the budgets are bloated across several departments, especially the fire and police departments. That doesn’t even include the more than generous benefits that taxpayers are providing for the unions. Benefits taxpayers do not get in the private sector.
The union rally is tonight at 5:30 and the town council meeting begins at 7:30. There will apparently be a portion for public input and tonight the council votes on the final budget. Unfortunately unions have continued to lie and fear monger residents rather than have an honest discussion about where cuts can be made. This is typical union behavior. The town council is doing the bidding of the people and the unions, as always, are working against the people.
Cross posted from Examiner