STOP the closing of Youngstown Fire Station #7!

STOP the closing of Youngstown Fire Station #7!

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Lisa Rosenthal started this petition to Mayor Jamael Tito Brown

The City of Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown plans to close the only fire station on the north side of Youngstown on December 1, 2019. Fire Station #7, on Madison Avenue at Elm Street, is strategically located to quickly respond to emergencies in the area. Don't let him close Station #7! Act now!

Please sign this petition, share this petition on social media, call the mayor's office and call the fire department!

Call the mayor at (330) 742-8701 and tell him you're not buying it. Call the fire chief at (330) 747-7403 and let him know his answers don't make any sense. 

We need this fire station to protect the safety of our residents, students, businesses, schools, and religious, cultural, and healthcare institutions including Youngstown State University buildings and dorms, St Elizabeth Hospital, Ohio Living assisted living facilities, Rich Center for Autism, Stambaugh Auditorium, Butler Institute of Art, Ursuline High School, Harding Elementary School, Nevels Temple, Congregation Rodef Sholom, Unitarian Church, and so many more.

** We want:

1) The city to keep Station 7 open, either indefinitely or until a new station can be built.

2) A comprehensive plan for all of our city's stations and fire protection so that we don't have any other stations closed suddenly without notice or public input. This plan needs to be data driven and based on best practices for a city of our size. The city needs to move beyond being reactionary and become proactive about our safety.

3) Real answers as to why these decisions are being made instead of the ever changing field of explanations that contradict themselves and don't make sense.

4) We want to see a consistent, transparent communication and negotiation process the brings together leadership from YFD, city council, city administration and the mayor, and neighborhood stakeholders.

** These are the reasons that the Mayor gives for closing the station and the reasons why they are not valid:

Reason 1 - "It would be fiscally irresponsible to keep putting money into a building we don't own." In reality, the lease costs us $100 a year and we're responsible for upkeep and maintenance. Over the course of 10 years, we've spent roughly $40k on that. This means that all said, we've spent roughly $4100 a year on the station, or about $350 a month. If you ask us, it would be "fiscally irresponsible" to let a deal like that go.

Reason 2 - "The building doesn't have restroom facilities for women." Station 7 has had women firefighters serving there for over 20 years. They have never had a problem with the facilities there. In fact, some of them feel a little put off by the notion that women somehow need special facilities and can't use the same ones as men. We've got news for the administration, these are called UNISEX facilities. There are currently only 3 stations that have facilities for women. Are we going to close all our other stations because of this?

Reason 3 - "We don't want to enter into a contract with someone under indictment." The city administration has said that it would "look bad" to continue association with a business owner under investigation. Well, we think it's a REALLY bad look to close a critical component of the city's fire coverage for the north side. We think it's a REALLY bad look to have a reactive approach to our city's protective services instead of a comprehensive data based plan. We think it's a REALLY bad look to promise a new station sometime in the distant future that we can't afford as some kind of excuse for closing our existing station.

Reason 4 - "The building isn't structurally sound enough to support modern fire engines." The city is claiming that because the station was designed for horse and buggy fire brigades, it can't handle the weight of the engines. However, the floor has been shored up and checked by engineers. Someone recently said there's more wood in the basement than there is room to walk around. This reason doesn't seem to have much "weight".

Reason 5 - "They're going to build a new station." The administration said their decision to close station 7 is not going to leave the north side unprotected because they have a "plan" to build a new fire station to replace it. The only problem is that it could be years before they actually build this station. The city doesn't have the money to build a new station and may not have it for years. They said they don't want to rush the process and make any "hasty decisions" that could jeopardize the future by putting us in further financial trouble. Well, we think the city shouldn't make any "hasty decisions" about our current station and should try to keep it open until we can build a new one.

Reason 6 - "It's a done deal." Until we see a bill of sale saying the building has been sold, it's not a done deal. Until we hear from the mouth of the current owner that he will not extend our lease on a month to month basis, it's not a done deal. Until we have earnestly tried to work with a potential new owner to try and extend our lease with them, it's not a done deal. Until we feel that the city has tried absolutely everything in their power to try and keep this station open, it's not a done deal, and we're going to keep fighting for this station to remain open.

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