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Former fire commissioner remarks on fire budget

September 16, 2015
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Our Fire District has "proposed" an approximate 7% tax increase, an increase in the budget in excess of $560,000. On a totally unrelated matter, I read that several of the Commissioners stated that they represented the taxpayers. I chuckled when I read this remark, as that was my campaign slogan in the last election.

Several months ago, the Commission approved a new contract with the Fire Fighters Union. This contract immediately and RETROACTIVELY increased most base wages 3%. Again, this October, most base wages will increase another 2%. Beginning October 2016, base wages will increase yet another 2%. Wage increases in excess of 7% WITHOUT REGARD to the cost of living, employee performance or district finances. This contract provides holiday pay for each and every hourly worker whether those employees work or stay home; it is extra pay for every hourly employee. This contract cuts in HALF the number of hours that are required to be worked before overtime is earned.

In my mind increasing costs and then increasing taxes is not representing the Taxpayer.

Dave Brower

Former Commissioner FMB Fire District

Fort Myers Beach



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