COVINGTON, Ky. - Covington commissioners and the mayor voted 4-1 to approve budget cuts of $500,000 for the city's fire department.
Latonia resident Ray Dietz made sure to speak his mind at Tuesday night's commission meeting.
"Go out into a fire with some of them," he said. "See what they go through for their money, then come back and say we want to cut you."
"I think it's appropriate that we try to get reductions from the various areas of the city operations so I'm going to vote 'aye' on this one," Covington's Mayor Chuck Scheper said. "It won't include layoffs of personnel. We're looking to attrition and some other ideas to reduce the cost to get to that budget target."
Acting Fire Chief Dan Mathew made it clear to both the citizens and his staff during his presentation that layoffs will not happen. He pointed out that three captains, one lieutenant, one engineer, one firefighter and one paramedic will be eliminated through either retirement, resignation or promotion.
"I can assure you that people who are here will do their best as we've always done to provide the best service that we can," acting Fire Chief Dan Mathew said.
Mathew said they will still manage to hire three new recruits and have 26 personnel per day, instead of the current 27.
Covington police are also in the process of cutting $500,000 from their budget as well as other departments in the city. This is something that must be done or in five years the city would have a deficit of $20 million.
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