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MCTA PraisedTo the Editor:
The city of Bloomington is continuing with plans to add more firefighters and new equipment as it considers the 2003 city budget. This is good news. As we digest these developments and the city's continued plan to improve the Fire Department, it is important to remember what led to this and to credit those who worked hard as an advocate for Bloomington firefighters.
It was over three years ago that a fire at Knightridge Manor highlighted the lack of attention being paid to the Fire Department. In response, the Monroe County Taxpayers Association formed a Fire Safety Commission to investigate the matter, determine what was needed and work for improvements. The Fire Safety Commission reviewed hundreds of pages of documents, spent hours researching, and conducted interviews with firefighters to determine where deficiencies existed and what was needed to help our firefighters do their job. A plan to commit resources to the Fire Department for manpower and equipment, mirroring many of the recommendations of the Fire Safety Commission, was proposed and passed soon afterward.
Despite attacks on the Commission and allegations of "partisanship", the Monroe County Taxpayers Association moved forward, serving as an advocate for the firefighters and an increased commitment to public safety. Citizens of Bloomington can thank the MCTA for their commitment to giving the Bloomington Fire Department the tools it needs to protect the lives and property of Bloomington citizens from fires.
Thank you, MCTA, for your commitment to this issue and your stand for wise fiscal policy.