Originally created 02/18/99

Offers money-saving ideas for Augusta 021899 - The Augusta Chronicle

I read with interest the article in the Feb. 7 paper about the merging of the Emergency Management Association with the Augusta Fire Department.

When I took over as chief of the Richmond County Fire Department, I would not accept a driver for my car. This was a position that had faded out within most of the nation's moderate and progressive fire departments in years gone by. It was a waste of manpower and a waste of tax-payer's money. I had a valid driver's license and, after all, I was a grown and responsible adult, so I drove my own chief's car. ...

If Chief Ronnie Few needs a chauffeur to drive him around or just to look important, I suggest he hire one from a local limousine service and pay for it out of his own pocket.

The city of Augusta is trying to find ways of saving money. Here is a capital idea. I suggest Chief Few move his office, lock stock and staff, immediately to any other city-owned building or to the first available fire station that is shut down. This will give the city a lot more money to do other things with. If the fire stations are good enough for the rest of the firefighters then they are good enough for Chief Few. I have never in my life seen such a flagrant waste of taxpayers' money as a city employee having a suite of offices in the elegant, high-rise building on the Riverwalk.

Someone needs to get a grip on what looks like an out-of-hand situation. The new mayor and commissioners need to get in touch with reality. All they talk about is saving money. Want to save money? Put the fire chief in a fire station like fire chiefs everywhere else. ...

The EMA should be left alone, to be run the way it is now. To place the EMA under the fire department and Chief Few would create more money problems and more mismanagement. ...

J. B. Harrell, Harlem


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