Dear Citizen

An e-mail exchange between a resident of the 4th Ward and Alderman Gallagher was forwarded to me.

From: mark cxxx []
Sent: Tue 8/4/2009 3:13 AM
To: Gallagher, Brendon
Subject: RE: Southside fire station


When you get a chance I would like to discuss something that I recently came across.

Fire Station No. 2 (South 7th Street) no longer has a fire engine housed there, only an ambulance. According to the new blog Save DeKalb, the reduction was effective August 1. I am going to visit this location and confirm these findings and highly suggest you do the same.

What is your take on the the fact that the 4th ward and south side no longer has adequate fire protection? Is this a permanent condition or can you speak with Ald Naylor and bring forth an agenda item to be voted on by the city council to force the FD to keep an Engine on the South side?

Might be worth bringing up at the next Council meeting.



Dear Citizen: Thank you for your email regarding Fire Station #2. Given the current staffing levels for our fire department, Chief Harrison has had to make some changes as it relates to fire protection.

It is my understanding that Fire Station #2 is now an EMT only station based on our current staffing.

When revenues return to our city, be it through retail sales tax, cost cutting, etc…, I hope we can return Station #2 to its past staffing levels.


Brendon Gallagher
4th Ward Alderman
City of DeKalb
200 S Fourth Street
DeKalb, IL 60115

815.787.7727 voice

Thus the quality of representation in the 4th Ward becomes clearer.

5 thoughts on “Dear Citizen”

  1. Why is it so difficult for an Alderman to step up for his ward? I will gaurantee you all one thing, if I was the one representing the 4th or 5th ward it would definitely not be status quo on the city council, closed or open meetings.

    This is the reason we have this city broken down into wards. Each of these aldermen are to represent the constituents of that ward first and foremost. I guess this must not be in any instructional manual for incoming Aldermen.

  2. Did you see the ad the IAFF put in the weekend Chronicle? A flyer with similar information was passed out in south side neighborhoods, too.

    If it weren’t for them, most folks wouldn’t even know we don’t have a fire engine on the south side anymore. Information is not coming from city hall. Information is not coming from the local press. So much of the system is broken. And, to bring it to the 4th Ward, my ward, what does it say about an alderman who responds to letters from neighbors with “Dear Citizen” — especially in addressing a person one has conversed with several times! I’ll tell you what it says: it’s a pathetic attempt at distancing oneself.

    So, tomorrow the mayor will proudly introduce a new website and an e-newsletter, which will reflect pathetically transparent attempts to pretend that city hall is interested in giving us the information we need. Well, we need the truth about changes in fire protection and so far they have failed to include it on any agenda or in any press release. We have to depend on the blogs and on the firefighters hoofing it around the neighborhoods themselves.

  3. There is truly only one reason that Mr. Gallagher is even on the council.


    What does it take to sell one’s soul to the devil in this community? It takes forgetting about your neighbors and their general well being.

    It takes putting one’s own personal agenda ahead of those you are supposed to represent.

    Many of those who are currently seated in the political arena for DeKalb whether it be schools or city government are there primarily for the agenda that is currently being enforced. Hopefully the newly elected will see the harm they are participating in now and will become the elected official they promised the voters they would be.

    I am completely shocked that the business sector on the southside have just pushed this off to the side as a no concern to them. Maybe it’s because they all have sprinkler systems who knows anymore.

  4. I suspect that what the city is trying here is to gamble that the economy is going to be a bed of roses in a few months, and then they can hire back the laid-off fire fighters, and we will be back to business as usual. In the meantime, those in city hall who are reportedly praying several times a day in the direction of Naperville will also be praying that there are no fires on the South side of our fine city. I fear that we will be getting the thorns, but not the blooms. The bloom is off the economic rose. What major employers in this area are planning expanded hiring and increased compensation for their employees? None that I know of. Do we have any firms coming on line here with increased hiring and compensation? Ditto. So, how are we going to get the increased spending and purchase of houses that would replace the tax income presently plummeting? Local government exists fundamentally to provide citizen services. It takes people to do that, and those people need to be competent and motivated. Past motivation was primarily in the form of wage, benefit, and salary increases. Now, the city and other local governments here are hard pressed to fund their personnel lines, much less afford increases. But, services are more important than usual during these downturns. My guess is, and I do not like it at all, is that personnel compensation and benefits are going to have to be reduced, not merely frozen, for some years. This is going to make labor negotiations rather ugly. Statements by well meaning people that we pay our public safety and other employees less than “comparable” cities are sadly bogus. The real question is how much we can afford to pay, and that amount is shrinking. People in the private sector who have watched their 401k investments tank, are not going to be sympathetic to getting their taxes raised considerably to fund defined benefit retirement plans for public workers when their elected representatives have been underfunding them deliberately for years. So, there is a lot more at stake here than merely and hopefully temporarily closing a satellite fire station. Our local governments are going to be forced, kicking and screaming along the way, to financial prudence. The declining tax base is going to not give them any other choice.

  5. I have to admit this was the ultimate insult. A “Dear Citizen” letter from Mr Gallagher. Give me a break! I’m with Ivan. This response came as a shock to me Mr Gallagher won’t even step up to represent his own ward and his neighbors on a matter of potential LIFE or DEATH. I do not take this lightly and I hope the neighbors do not as well.

    I am almost to the point that I am thinking about making Print copies of this E-mail and distributing them to the Voters of the 4th ward and letting them know that our Alderman appears have no interest in the number one issue (A Life and death issue, if you will) that needs to be resolved…and needs to be resolved NOW.

    Mr Gallagher, step up and represent your WARD and neighbors! You can champion “RE-SCREW DeKalb”, later!

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