Budget Developments, Good and Bad
I stand by prior criticisms of certain practices and (non)policies of Mayor Susan Menard. Nevertheless, she, along with other mayors and councils around the state grappling with a bad budget situation, has my sympathy.
Further, she and the Woonsocket City Council are to be applauded if this questionable practice is discontinued, though some of us continue to wonder why it was ever implemented, in Woonsocket and elsewhere.
Lambert said the city also intends to address the fatigue issue by abandoning a longstanding fire department policy of having an engine accompany every rescue run. He said the move would eliminate perhaps 7,000 engine runs per year, further easing the strain on manpower.
This idea, however, seems unnecessary, unenforceable and smacks of vindictiveness, even with the stated disclaimer.
Amid concerns that recent layoffs on the Woonsocket Fire Department will increase forced overtime and on-the-job fatigue, city officials disclosed Tuesday that they intend to prohibit firefighters from holding outside employment beginning in April.
“From our perspective we are just trying to relieve the stress on the overworked firefighters,” said city attorney Chris Lambert. “We don’t want to add to that.”