"We should have a referendum on this issue and that would solve the problem where the city sits on this issue. Clearly people need to express their opinions one way or other. I am adamantly against this. This state doesn't recognize same-sex marriage and it clearly states in the Bible that a marriage is between a man and a woman." — Alex Backry
"Adding health and other benefits for these couples would be good for the community. It will be a legal right for same-sex couples to marry in Georgia in the near future. We can show that we are behind the curve or that we are a progressive adaptive city and willing to step forward." — Thomas Greggs
-- Tucker McQueen for the AJC
Should the city of Canton and Cherokee County merge some or all of their respective fire department operations?
Canton city and Cherokee officials have debated the matter for years. Proponents have pushed potential cost and operational benefits plus some service duplication elimination. Opponents have worried that a merger might cost the city more in the long run and lead to longer response times.
Outright consolidation’s not on the table at the moment, but city and county officials are weighing a smaller-scale joining of forces as the city plans to build a new fire station in the Laurel Canyon area of northwest Canton in 2015. Mayor Gene Hobgood wants to have the station staffed by Cherokee County firefighters, who would move to the new digs from a nearby, outdated county station. Hobgood also says that under the deal, the county would station an ambulance at the new facility, providing enhanced medical emergency coverage. Hobgood says the savings would be about $750,000 annually-money that could be used to beef up manpower elsewhere in the city department.
Canton City manager Glen Cummins says, however the savings would be minimal. He says under the proposal, the county would require the city to staff a ladder company at the new station. He says the resulting personnel savings would be zero, and that the operational savings would amount to only about $100,000 annually. He also says having city and county firefighters at the same facility would also present logistical problems with scheduling.
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