Wednesday, June 09, 2010


In the fire service, one of our guiding principles is to “risk a lot to save a lot, but risk little to save a little”. These decisions are made on a daily basis in our field to determine how best to utilize our resources at various different types of emergencies. Unfortunately, Mayor Anthony Krasienko does not seem to subscribe to a similar risk assessment model. After all, he has now laid off 7 fire fighters for budgetary reasons, but I am convinced that- to this day- he has absolutely no idea how much money is actually being saved as a result.

In November of 2009, this Mayor proposed a tax credit reduction ordinance that he repeatedly promised- both publicly and privately- was to be used for maintaining public safety staffing levels. On December 14, the Mayor, the Law Director, and the Auditor mutually agreed to move forward with a sensible, realistic plan to eliminate Lorain’s deficit by 2015. However, perhaps motivated by the prospect of bolstering their 2011 election resumes, the Mayor and City Council later inexplicably decided that they would eliminate the entire deficit in a single year.

The problem with this ambitious plan was that it required passing a budget in which the Mayor had drastically under-funded the fire department. While Krasienko maintained all along that the budget reflected 7 fire fighter layoffs, his numbers were based upon said layoffs occurring on January 1 and even then his calculations were seriously flawed. He failed to properly account for unemployment funding and he also didn’t take into account any payments for accumulated time. On April 26, at a finance and claims committee meeting, neither the Auditor nor the Mayor were able to offer any estimate regarding the amount that would be saved by laying off the remaining 4 of the 7 fire fighters. To this date, these figures have yet to be publicly shared.

I believe Mayor Krasienko owes it to the citizens of Lorain to provide them with an accurate account of exactly how much money is truly being saved this year from the 7 fire fighter layoffs. I am very confident that, if and when the true figures are revealed, the citizens will be outraged to learn how little the city is actually saving as the Mayor willingly places their lives and property at risk.

Jonathon K. George
President- IAFF Local 267
Lorain Fire Fighters


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