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Your Views: Empathy largely lacking in Janesville's firehouse decision

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March 15, 2014

I want to thank The Gazette for their articles on the firehouse proposal for Milton Avenue.

I don't follow the city politics that much, at least after elections. I contacted all of the council members after your articles and did get responses from some of the members. I was disappointed in some of the responses in that they were irritated at me for not knowing all about the controversy over the past 20 years, and one even got a bit riled up when I asked about the closed meeting last November.

I know the people on the council are good people doing difficult work for very little positive feedback. They do a good job! I do wish the city manager and some members would have expressed more empathy for the possible displacement of some residents—that's what bothered me the most.

The proposals I suspect are well thought-out, but the managers and council seemed as if they were distancing themselves from these residents' pain of losing their homes. One council member did visit the residents and got involved. We need sometimes to make difficult decisions, but we also need to take responsibility for the pain we create and do what we can to help in that area. It's part and parcel of affecting people's lives.

VIRGIL H. PARKER

Janesville



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