Issue 4 fails at polls May 3

by Dan Holland

Issue 4, the charter amendment on the May 3 ballot that would have raised raise the fire and emergency medical services levy in Broadview Heights from 4.2 mills to a rate not to exceed 5.8 mills, failed by a 60% to 40% vote of the public.

The additional funding was needed to construct a proposed 24,350 square-foot, $11.5 million fire station and headquarters to be located on the city campus near Memorial Drive and Broadview Road.

Final vote tallies from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections showed 2,135 votes against and 1,425 votes in favor of the issue with 100% reporting.

“I appreciate everyone coming out to vote,” said Fire Chief Jeffrey Hajek. “Obviously, the need is still there; that hasn’t changed and it’s not going to go away. So, we’ll have to figure out where we’ll go from here; it’s something that has to happen. We just have to stay positive and keep going forward.”

Hajek pointed out that Stations 1 and 2 are 60 and 50 years old, respectively, and were built to suit the population and equipment required for that time era.

“Fire stations just aren’t that size anymore,” he continued. “The size of the station that we were looking for is comparable to what cities of our size and call volume have now, and that’s what we’re looking for. Obviously, the need was there 20 years ago, the need is still here today and it will still be there tomorrow.”

Whatever steps the city will take next are unknown at this point, said Hajek. He said the administration, city council and fire services will eventually form a plan of action for the future.

“You just try to be positive and hope that people understood the need and had the information they needed.” Hajek said. “Whatever that next step is, it will be planning for the future, because it would be irresponsible to just plan for the next five years and then come back in five years and ask for more money. We’re trying to plan for a station that will last 50 years into the future and serve the needs of the city over that time.” ∞