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Fire Board president opposes part-time Lockport chief

LOCKPORT – Peter P. Robinson, president of the Lockport Fire Board and chairman of the city Republican Party, said Tuesday that he opposes cutting the fire chief’s job to part-time, as the Common Council did in the 2015 city budget passed last week.

“How are you going to be an effective leader of 32 full-time guys with one part-time guy?” Robinson asked. “I don’t think it’s a wise decision.”

Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey told him the Common Council will discuss the issue again tonight.

Robinson asserted that the Fire Board, not the Council should have made the decision, but Deputy Corporation Counsel David E. Blackley told him that state civil service authorities had told him the Council could make that change.

It remains up to the Fire Board to choose the chief to replace Thomas J. Passuite, who is retiring Dec. 11. Robinson said it would be a good idea to choose an interim chief while the selection process goes forward.