Palo Alto council discuss firefighter initiative

August 3, 2010 12:55:41 AM PDT
Monday night, the Palo Alto City Council voted to put a measure on the November ballot that would take away their own power to lay off members of the fire department.

The initiative, supported by the firefighters union, would lock-in current staffing levels at the department. The council basically had to put the measure on the ballot, because it received the required number of signatures, but they were not happy about it.

"I strongly oppose this innovative by the firefighters. I think it's amazingly selfish," said Palo Alto City Councilmember Greg Scharff.

"I think it's a misguided power play by the fire department and I am confident that the people of Palo Alto are going to make their voices loud and clear on where they stand on this issue," said Palo Alto Mayor Patrick Burt.

Firefighters argue that preventing future layoffs is in the best interest of public safety.

Voters get the final say in November.


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