Caribou City Council objectives
To the editor:
Although I can only speak for myself, I think my fellow councilors would agree: the unsustainable financial trend the Caribou Fire and Ambulance Department is currently on needs to be fixed. However, fixing it does not mean getting rid of it or cutting services. To me it means keeping the same level of service, now and into the future, at or near the 2013 cost to the Caribou taxpayer. Because I want the Caribou Fire and Ambulance Department to be there if something were to happen to my wife, my parents or our neighbors. My parents and our neighbors are the reason I moved back to my hometown.
“Kaizen” is a term I learned as a young engineer working for a Japanese auto parts manufacturer in Brewer. It’s a process where all business activities of an organization are continuously reviewed, evaluated, tested, etc. The English translation of Kaizen is “improvement,” which in the context of this city department, one that went from costing the taxpayer $257,000 per year to $1.1 million in seven years, is not just necessary but urgent. I hope this clarifies what we are trying to accomplish.
In closing, I think it’s important to explain what the goals of the council are:
Locate and understand where the unsustainable financial trends in the city’s revenue, expense and capital budgets reside.
Identify, develop and implement solutions which reverse the negative fiscal trends and that promote a sustainable financial future for the city.
Maintain the level of services the citizens of Caribou have come to expect and deserve into the foreseeable future.
Thank you for the opportunity to clarify what we have been working on for over a year.
Hugh A. Kirkpatrick