(Galloway) The Restore Galloway Team of Councilman Jim McElwee, Bill Montag, Cliff Sudler and Mike Suleiman tonight pledged to end the disrespect shown to the Galloway Township Fire Departments by Mayor Don Purdy's administration.
"Despite being a volunteer position, being a firefighter in Galloway Township is one of the hardest, most time-consuming jobs around," McElwee, Montag, Sudler and Suleiman said in a joint statement. "We have the utmost respect for these brave men and women and will show them the respect they deserve on council."
McElwee, Montag, Sudler and Suleiman announced they would support adopting an ordinance recognizing the Township Fire Chief as a Township department head, reverting back to a 20 year-old unwritten practice that was abandoned by Mayor Purdy. Egg Harbor Township, which is also an all-volunteer fire department, has an ordinance officially recognizing its chief as a department head
"As a former Bayview volunteer firefighter, I know first-hand the personal and professional sacrifices these men and women make," said Council candidate Bill Montag. "We shouldn't be attacking the men and women who save us millions of dollars a year."
An all-volunteer fire department saves Galloway Township millions of dollars a year. A paid fire department cost the City of Brigantine roughly $3.3 million in 2011. Brigantine's population is roughly one-fourth the size of Galloway's.
If elected, McElwee, Montag, Sudler and Suleiman pledge to begin a dialogue with the five fire companies to create a mutually-beneficial relationship.