For many years, residents of Tracy have complained about slow response times from the fire department and the police department. Chief Bosch’s proposal to move the Banta Station a mile or so west and to relocate the existing station at Parker Avenue and Grant Line Road closer to Corral Hollow and Grant Line roads is a move designed to provide the residents of Tracy with better fire coverage and reduce response times. It also is designed to get the fire crew stationed in Banta out of that antiquated facility.
It is clear to me that Bosch is doing his job as an administrator by trying to meet the long overdue service coverage needs here in Tracy and to reduce response times of fire personnel when called to our homes in emergency situations.
I don’t believe the suggestion of a “membership” fee to offset operational costs for fire personnel is the best idea I’ve seen come along, but it is one of the only ideas that I’ve heard come along to help offset city expenditures during tough financial times.
Imagine the outrage that would be heard if the chief was forced to lay off firefighters and reduce the number of lifesaving personnel serving our town.
While I’m not in favor of the membership fee, I am at least glad to see our fire chief and other city staff looking at other financial alternatives to layoffs, something that I haven’t seen many other cities doing.
Chief Bosch gets high marks in my book for considering the needs of the residents of Tracy and for trying to be a problem solver. Keep in mind, the chief doesn’t have the final say. These are merely suggestions to reduce response times and to offset operational costs. The City Council has the final authority in these matters.
So before you consider ousting the fire chief, how about examining yourself and asking what you have done lately to help resolve some of our town’s issues?
• Larry L. Hite is a Tracy resident and owner of a home inspection business.