We do not agree with the recommendation to close Station #13 based upon the information provided at the Board Meeting on February 2, 2021. We find there were several issues related to both the meeting notification and the information provided during the meeting.
Here are some of our issues.
The public was not made aware that the Village Board was going to make a recommendation at this meeting based upon the wording in the Agenda.
This Village Staff Report regarding this issue was very dense and full of specific terms and detailed numbers that would challenge any reader not familiar with the topic. Currently, the Village staff needs to make this report available only 48 hours in advance of the meeting. However, this short amount of time was not adequate for anyone who wanted to read the report, absorb the information, and determine what questions to ask regarding the information and data provided.
Page 5 of the Village Board Report shows a chart labeled “Analysis of Options”. The option recommended by the Village Board showed a saving of $1.25 million. There were no questions by Board Members about this number and the Village staff did not offer any explanation. There should have been more discussion regarding this number since it seemed to impact the Board's recommendation.
The Village paid $60,000 for a consultant for a report in which the closing of a fire station was not recommended.
Here’s what makes sense for the safety of our residents.
The Glenview Firefighters Local 4186 stands against this decision. When asked, the union said, "We know that the closure of Fire Station 13 will compromise emergency services to the entire village, especially the East side of Glenview. We will not support this reduction in service.”
We believe the public deserves an open meeting (not a Board Meeting) to discuss and debate the closing of Station #13 with the following attendees: Village Board, relevant Village staff, and all impacted stakeholders, among others. The decision to close a fire station should not be made without an open debate. This meeting should be widely publicized by the Village with all relevant reports and documents available for public review a minimum of one week in advance.
The residents on the east side of the Village now have cause to worry about how quick a response they will get in an emergency. And we know our first responders pride themselves on their quick response times. The closing of Station #13 means that residents and businesses in the east section of Glenview will be getting assistance from Station #6 on Waukegan Road, which is currently the busiest of the remaining four stations. If Station #6 is busy, the help will come from Station #7 (3507 Glenview Road) or Station #14 (2250 Patriot Boulevard). When minutes matter, having to wait for help could mean the difference between life and death. The situation would be made even worse if a train crossing the tracks slows the response time.
We recommend the Village Board reconsider this decision which is due to take affect on April 1, 2021.
GLENVIEW NEXT Resident First.
Image Source: Glenview Firefighters Local 4186