Chesterfield Fire, Police Push Proposals at Precincts
Residents will decide Tuesday whether to approve additional funding for police and fire in Chesterfield Township.
With one last push for tax proposals, Chesterfield Township fire and police representatives camped out Tuesday at community precincts.
Clutching signs stating "Support Your Firefighters Vote Yes! Fire Department Millage," firefighters flocked to about 90 percent of the polling places in the community.
"Our goal here is to pass the millage," Firefighter Rick Gadd said. "We have firefighters at different sites in the township."
Voters showed their support with thumbs-up and words of encouragement, Gadd said.
Fire Capt. Doug Calvert, a 26-year department veteran, joined Gadd outside the fire station on 23 Mile Road near Baker.
"I believe the township deserves a full-time fire department with the growth it's experienced," Calvert said. "If they go back to part-time, there is going to be burning houses down and probably losing lives."
The department went from a part-time to a full-time operation in 2001 at the request of the Board of Trustees, he said.
"They're looking at laying off 17 guys if the millage doesn't pass," Marker, a township resident who also felt encouraged by resident responses, said. "When you don't have enough people it's tough to get the job done."
Township, police and fire officials say the tax proposals are needed to sustain the departments that have faced less tax revenue from declining housing values.
In an unofficial Patch poll readers were mixed by Tuesday afternoon about the proposals, with 33 percent saying they would vote for both millages, 14 percent saying they would vote for fire only, four percent saying they will vote for police only and 42 percent saying they will reject both proposals. Four-percent was undecided.
Check back with Patch for election results later tonight.