NOTE: Atlanta City Council members can’t really be expected to communicate what they don’t know. I heard from District 9′s councilperson, Felicia Moore, today Dec. 2nd at 1pm that she knew nothing of fire station closings in the city, BUT that the Mayor Franklin could close stations without Council approval. Or notification for that matter. (As she did with Station #7 earlier this year.) So this post should really be titled Atlanta Mayor’s FAILURE To Communicate. With her council or her citizenry.
ORIGINAL POST: We citizens of the City of Atlanta have a better chance of being alerted to a terrorist’s bomb in India than we do to the proposed closing of an Atlanta fire station. This time, the ax is being waved over the head of Fire Station #23 on Howell Mill Road, near the HEAVY INDUSTRIAL AND RAILYARD AREA, let me repeat that in case anyone doesn’t get the HAZARDOUS WASTE POSSIBILITIES… HEAVY INDUSTRIAL AND RAILYARD AREA of the City of Atlanta.
Yet here in the age of the Internets, not a single communique was sent from our City Council members to the citizenry of the areas effected by this proposed closing. Only the quick action of a concerned neighbor who’d heard a rumor and got on the neighborhood discussion board alerted the constituency and the ‘hood about the proposed closing, and to the closing now being an agenda item on TODAY’S council meeting at 1pm… less than two hours away from me typing this. From the neighborhood discussion board:
Fire Station 23 found out about the proposed closing on Thanksgiving morning, so there was no prior word or discussion about it as far as they knew. They don’t have any details… no proposed closing date, no confirmation, nothing. What they do know is that this issue is on the City Council Meeting agenda at 1pm TODAY. The meeting can be seen on the local city government channel. Someone thought it was also viewable live on the internet, so if anyone can find it, please post it.
Agenda is posted here: http://apps.atlantaga.gov/citycouncil/agendas2.htm Due to the incredible number of items on it, I still haven’t found it mentioned. If anyone can isolate where it is, please pass that along.
After the results of today’s meeting are known, the area neighborhoods/neighbors can better organize/start efforts to rally for Fire Station 23 staying completely open.
Not unbelievable, but inexcusable. Hell, Station #23 services the very railyard area of Atlanta that burned so spectacularly in Gone With The Wind. If Broke Atlanta closes station #23 and it all burns to the ground for real this time again, I’ll alert the media on Twitter I suppose. You can find the commemorative plate on eBay here.
UPDATE: Someone from council person’s Claire Muller’s office returned my call about this matter. She too could not find an item on today’s agenda directly related to Fire Station #23, although she did say such an item could be “buried” somewhere. Such as in an item about “budgeting.” Imagine that. She promised to ask around and find out if such a proposal would fall under the sphere of the Finance Committee or the Public Safety committee. And call me back, as she promptly did with my initial phone call to Muller’s office. Close the sunroof; pigs is a’flyin’.
LATEST: Kathy from Muller’s office called again. To let me know that Councilperson Muller knows not much about this whole matter. That Muller had just heard chatter, same as the ‘hood. That it’s likely an “administrative” issue and not a “legislative” one. She passed the buck to the Mayor’s office and told me to call the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Greg Giornelli. At this point, I think I’ll let some paid journo take over the matter.
VERY LATEST: The Atlanta fire people weigh-in on the matter. It’s true. They’re going to shut-down Fire Station #23. In 30 days! Pray no hazardous waste EVER comes through this town, Terminus, again. Scary stuff. From a Battalion Chief’s email to the community:
We were notified on Thanksgiving morning that Station #23 will be closed within the next 30 days due to the budget cuts. I am currently in contact with my Battalion Chief and the Fire Chief as to providing you and the other community groups with the most accurate information. Chief Coxton (my BC) has offered to meet with you or answer any questions that you may have.
Here is the e-mail that I received from him:…
Captain, you may direct any question or concerns to me and I will keep the Fire Chief informed. Please provide our citizens with my cell phone number and email address. Also, if a community group or NPU would like for myself or Chief Cochran to attend one of their meeting just let me know. Additionally, provide all citizens with as much factual information as possible, share the information from our meetings. Do not report to citizens that you do not know anything, we want to share as much information as possible.
Bernard Coxton, Battalion Chief
City Hall East
675 Ponce Deleon Ave N.E.
Atlanta, GA. 30308-1807
Three cheers to the Atlanta Fire Department for bothering to communicate willingly with the people they serve. So deeply sorry that our bloated, broke city government can’t move them into the Mayor’s communications department. They not only know how to put out fires, but how to use email and cell phones in the digital era.