Blowing Smoke on Sequester
When I was a young reporter absorbing the intricacies of local government while covering Washington, Bruce and Ray townships for The Romeo Observer, I quickly realized that, in many ways, the most powerful official in these communities was the local fire chief.
Dressed in full uniform, the fire chief would appear before his township board to warn against budget cuts in the fire department, or to criticize board opposition to funding new fire equipment and trucks, or to offer calamitous predictions in response to an attempt to block a fire millage proposal from making its way to the ballot.
Officials in townships that had a few two-story buildings were told by the chief that they absolutely needed a ladder-truck to handle fires in elevated places. The fire chief would slyly warn that any proposed budget cuts or restrictions for his department could bring alarming consequences.
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