I used to be a firefighter for the city of Gardiner. When I first started, there were nine full-time firefighters and 20-plus call members. These firefighters are on call and are paid a small hourly wage while they are at a fire call or helping on a rescue call.

Then the city went to 12 full-time members, so each shift had four people instead of three. Now they have 14 people. With the call crew down to a handful and with the ever-increasing tax rate, I think the city should look hard into the number of calls and figure out how many people it can do without.

Maybe we need to get back the call crew or look into a going with a volunteer department.

The city can cut in all departments but it has an image to keep at the taxpayers’ cost. Stop giving money when we don’t have it. Give the people of Gardiner the chance to stay in Gardiner where they love to be, don’t tax them out of town. The city of Gardiner has to look at the people of Gardiner, not the image of Gardiner.

Michael AtwaterWest Gardiner