Reader praises City’s innovative restructuring
I read the headline article from April 26 titled, “Rockford models new money-saving safety structure” and wanted to thank and commend not only the City Manager and staff but all employees involved in cross-training to be firefighters. As we continue to see the state of Michigan reduce their financial contributions to local municipalities, those same municipalities are forced to “do more with less.” Citizens will expect the same high level of service no matter what the funding level and the City of Rockford has shown it is quite capable of handling this difficult task. It seems that politicians love to place a great deal of economic blame on “overpaid and underworked” city employees in the past years. I highly doubt any politician making that claim has any idea the added tasks given to many public employees, especially those of Rockford.
Private and public sector employees alike have been faced with declining wages and higher workloads, but I believe the employees of the City of Rockford have gone above and beyond anyone’s expectations. It’s one thing to take a pay cut or work longer hours but quite another to add a task of firefighting to your added responsibilities. I’m sure that many city employees never imagined they would add they may be called upon to put out fires or rescue people on medical calls.
Think about it: the same city employee that repairs the water mains, mows city parks and maintains our wonderful city may also be the same person responding to someone having a heart attack or sent to put out a fire. Talk about multitasking.