F’ville, Fayette eye partial consolidation of services

Preliminary talks underway to see if county might take over city firefighting, water service, inspections

Discussions are underway between Fayetteville and Fayette County to potentially merge city and county services such as fire, water and building inspections.

The idea behind the partial consolidation is to save money in a local economy that continues to slump. The initial reports concerning any consolidation of services could be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.

Fayetteville City Manager Joe Morton said the idea for potentially merging services is financially-driven and came out of discussions at the City Council retreat in March. He said discussions with Fayette County are underway about the potential for consolidating the fire, water and building inspection departments.

“The city did a preliminary financial analysis and there appeared to be some cost-savings associated with the merger,” Morton said, adding that other reasons for considering a consolidation of one or more services include economies of scale and service delivery.

Pertaining to the city’s fire department, Morton said the city is currently looking at the operational side of the issue that includes staffing, equipment, fire stations and organizational structure.

“We’ve met with the chief and the three shifts of firefighters. We got some good feedback and we’re looking at the issues,” Morton said.

The discussions come at a time when local revenues continue to fall due to a slumping tax digest. Also in the mix is a grant that will construct a new county fire headquarters and emergency center. If eventually approved, the merger could potentially have the city fire station on South Glynn Street operated as a county facility, Morton said.

Morton said it could be up to two weeks before a report on the discussions is issued.

sunshine girl
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"History with NO Future!"

The City of Fayetteville may need to change its slogan from "A History with a Future!" to "A History with NO Future!" if it follows through with this merger. This financial analysis results is "it appears to be some cost savings with the merger" isnt good enough for me! I agree that changes need to be made to save money but I'd like to see a full impact study done before moving ahead. This effects peoples lives, careers, and safety. It's not something that should just slide under the radar with a quick vote. There probaby will be some savings but if you look at the history of similar mergers, you find new problems and additional hidden costs. The frustrating part if that it typically results in adding another costly layer of bureaucracy while those at the "hands on" level get laid off or cut.

sunshine girl
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"History with NO Future!"

The City of Fayetteville may need to change its slogan from "A History with a Future!" to "A History with NO Future!" if it follows through with this merger. This financial analysis results is "it appears to be some cost savings with the merger" isnt good enough for me! I agree that changes need to be made to save money but I'd like to see a full impact study done before moving ahead. This effects peoples lives, careers, and safety. It's not something that should just slide under the radar with a quick vote. There probaby will be some savings but if you look at the history of similar mergers, you find new problems and additional hidden costs. The frustrating part if that it typically results in adding another costly layer of bureaucracy while those at the "hands on" level get laid off or cut.

sunshine girl
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The City of Fayetteville may

The City of Fayetteville may need to change its slogan from "A History with a Future!" to "A History with NO Future!" if it follows through with this merger. This financial analysis results is "it appears to be some cost savings with the merger" isnt good enough for me! I agree that changes need to be made to save money but I'd like to see a full impact study done before moving ahead. This effects peoples lives, careers, and safety. It's not something that should just slide under the radar with a quick vote. There probaby will be some savings but if you look at the history of similar mergers, you find new problems and additional hidden costs. The frustrating part if that it typically results in adding another costly layer of bureaucracy while those at the "hands on" level get laid off or cut.

what's happening
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Fire dept

The merger makes sense. The fire truck drives out on a medical call only to come right back to the station. The county provides the ambulances. The city fire guys don't even ride in the ambulance for help. The ambulance will sit and wait for county firefighters to ride in the ambulance. Where's the teamwork? It's not there. Grant it the city was really sneaky about all this and still aren't being honest to its employees. And now the police department is having to suffer from manpower because the city has decided to freeze the open positions until they decide what they are doing with the fire dept. us citizens of Fayetteville are the ones suffering. Lack of fire and police services.

bdgstar
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Really??

First of all, for those of you that hold Morton and those over at City Hall up on this pedestal........Just my opinion but I feel like if they were doing such a jam up job with finance/city figures, the city would not be in the trouble that they are in now. I feel like if you take a good look around at the staffing through the departments and City Hall there are several areas that could use a little fat (pardon my expression) trimmed. Funny though; the first place they try to cut when they decide that they have blown the budget is to the men and women that actually work to make the city run! Someone had mentioned in a previous post about Morton moving over from PTC for more money. My exact problem....More money??? Does the city need to be paying more money for the remainder of the City Hall employees when they are throwing away half of their responsibilities?? They are trying to keep this consolidation swept under the rug long enough so that the damage is done to the city taxpayer and there is no going back. Granted, the new Mayor is going to say that he is fighting for the people by not raising the city taxes slightly but just going to turn the departments over to the county so that the county can take the wrap for the NEW FIRE TAX that every Fayetteville taxpayer will pay that they now don't. Let me tell you something else. There are a lot of GREAT people trying to make a living on a meager income that were back doored by this whole process. The City did not even address this issue with the employees until it was rubbed in their faces by the county guys through the rumor mill. The new merger was and is a easy out for the politicians so that they don't have to take anything away from themselves....There is no more history in Fayetteville.... Say goodbye to your Fire Department that has been taking care of you since 1940! For those of you that actually think that your services will get better???? REALLY? Tell me how taking a four man engine and turning it into a two man engine that costs the citizens more money constitutes better service? PLEASE!! I'm waiting! I tell you, this City needs a makeover and from the TOP! One more thing..The City wonders why they have no industry and people moving in but every time developers and property managers approach the city with a legit idea for a business in the area, they have to jump through so many hoops to fit into Fayetteville's guidelines that they end up taking their business elsewhere (and believe me, I'm not talking about smut like Starship and Head shops....I'm taking about legit businesses). So, how honorable of our City heads to try to keep Fayetteville looking historic and beautiful while you have flea markets, run down buildings, cash for gold shops, and people standing on every corner selling things. What a JOKE!

Jelly Bean
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Huh.. A city manager who did the right thing ...

Well. Hats off to Joe Morton for not pulling a Pennington/Clark. At least at face value. So Joe- you met with the employees? You did an analysis? Huh. Could ya call Pennington and explain the correct way to treat employees?

Robert W. Morgan
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He used to be Asst. City Mgr. in PTC

and was clearly in line to be City Manager, but something about our elected leadership caused him to jump to Fayetteville the minute that job opened up. Can't remember exactly when that was, but I do remember city staff being very sad he left.

NUK_1
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Not exactly RWM

He figured out he had no chance of ever being city Mgr in PTC so he went back to his old job in Fayetteville when they offered up a lot more money than before. Good for him and I have no problem with someone seeing the writing on the wall and bettering themselves elsewhere.

Morton is also the guy who told all of his employees in the Finance Dept that they were forbidden from attending Council meetings on several occasions. He also had a rep around City Hall as someone who you really couldn't trust when the stuff hit the fan. Not bashing the guy, but let's not hold him up as perfection in public service either.

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