|COURTESY OF TMCNEWS.COM|
It seems that the fight between the Elyria firefighters and the city administration is getting personal.
On Friday morning, Elyria street department workers delivered a 21-inch push lawn mower to the fire station at Bell Avenue and state Route 57 with a note attached reading: “Mow your own grass for now on. Here’s a lawn mower full of fuel. Any questions call Jim.”
Fire officials called Jim Hutchson, the Elyria assistant safety-service director — whose name was spelled wrong on the note, to find out what was behind the surly memo.
Hutchson said he asked Elyria Street Department workers to drop the lawn mower off at the fire station because the department’s summer help returned to school for the fall, and the street department workers were stretched thin.
But Hutchson said the guys who dropped off the mower had “absolutely no authorization” to write a note like that.
Firefighters said they have no qualms about mowing their own lawn — they’ve done it in the past when they had their own mower before it broke down — but they didn’t appreciate the note that was attached to the mower.
Firefighters also said that street department Supervisor Gary Dickerson showed up when the mower was dropped off Friday and was friendly when he advised them that the street department was stretched thin on resources and might not be able to plow the fire stations’ driveways when it snows this winter.
Dickerson said later that he never authorized anybody to place the note on the mower and only told firefighters that the street department was low on resources and manpower and things might get difficult in the months ahead.
Dickerson also suspected that some of his workers in the street department left the note because they were upset at firefighters picketing about the firefighting budget.
“I told ’em not to do it,” Dickerson said of his workers. “But they were mad.”