Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Motion to hire 24 Spotsy firefighters fails
Spotsylvania County Supervisor Benjamin Pitts on Tuesday night made a motion to approve funding for 24 additional firefighters effective immediately.
The motion failed 3-4, with Ann Heidig, David Ross, Paul Trampe, and Timothy McLaughlin–who were all elected in November on a low-tax platform–casting the dissenting votes.
Last November, the Board of Supervisors–four of whom are no longer in office–voted to hire 24 fire and rescue personnel by April 1 of this year, 18 by Oct. 1 and 10 by April 1, 2013, to ensure 24/7 coverage.
“For some reason that I’m not aware of, staff has decided not to follow that directive,” Pitts said.
County Administrative Doug Barnes, who included 12 full-time firefighters in his proposed 2012-13 budget, said it was his decision not to move forward with the plan. He said he wanted to make sure the new supervisors were OK with it. He also said he wanted to avoid hiring people only to “turn around and do something differently.”
The new supervisors have said the county may be able to achieve 24/7 coverage without paying so much money.
“The decision not to move ahead was mine and mine solely, and I take that responsibility,” Barnes said.
Check back for more details.