Thursday, December 27, 2007

Time for city hall to honor Kenosha's history.

The Kenosha News Thursday did a marvelous story (the online version has more than in print) on the retirement of Kenosha's last Peter Pirsch fire engine.

For those who don't know, Pirsch was considered the Calillac of fire trucks -- hand built and built to last.

Like so many other historic Kenosha industries, Pirsch is gone. The retirement of Kenosha's last fire engine really is news.

More significant than another nail in the coffin of Kenosha's industrial heritage is what the city has done with and to the last two Pirsch fire trucks. They were stripped and mothballed.

That's not just sad -- it's insane.

Here we have a city willing to shell out big bucks for a generic civil war museum and yet it is letting a major part of the city's history go to seed -- in fact, not just letting it but enabling it. How crazy is that?

The city could -- and should -- have preserved these fire engines as living monuments to a major part of Kenosha's history (did you know that in the 1930's the Chicago Fire Department called for help from Kenosha because Pirsch had the most advanced equipment?).

But maybe we shouldn't expect too much from a city government that compromised public safety by shutting down a fire station (and plans to close more) and endangers motorists and pedestrians by horrendous snow and ice removal.

Stripping these fire engines and letting them go to seed is another nose thumbing at the men and women who gave their city its identity. Shame on city hall. Shame.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pish-posh. If you want that engine preserved, raise private funds and do it yourself. I don't like it either, but more Kenosha tax dollars spent on preserving a fire engine means fewer dollars spent on clearing the streets...and we all know how well that's done, don't we?

Councilperson said...

The moron who posted the above comment obviously has oral/anal confusion.

First, there is no correlation between maintaining the fire truck and plowing the streets. A fire truck is always maintained in tip top shape thus on the day it was retired it should have been ready-to-roll. When they stripped it down is when the cost starts to mount. Left intact the cost would have been minimal, if any, because it would not need to be restored. But Mr./Ms. Knee-Jerk Reaction is too fricking stupid to figure that out. Kind of like when the county tore the doors and facilities off the old jail when the Public Safety Building was opened in 1982. Had the old jail been kept up the county would not have had to spend millions housing overflow prisoners out of the county – sometimes as far as northern Wisconsin – and driving prisoners from the new jail around the block to the courthouse because they never built a tunnel (which was a feature of the 1924 jail). That’s stupid municipal management – Kenosha style (spend a dollar to save a penny).

There is also no correlation with street maintenance. That’s an ongoing expense. Here, the city plans to blow a wad for a civil war museum but what about local history? Maintaining what we have is cheap compared to acquisition and restoration in later years. But Mr//Ms. Buttbrain is also too fricking stupid to realize that.

Oh well, Jerry Springer has to get his guests from somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Anyone need a fire chief? We can spare one.

Anonymous said...

Hey, chill out about our probie fire chief. Maybe he's just taking orders from hishonnah da mayor!