EDITOR: Sunday's articles about Rohnert Park's firefighting inadequacies were long overdue ("Department under fire"). A simple solution could save significant money and improve public safety in both Rohnert Park and Cotati: Turn Rohnert Park's firefighting duties over to the Rancho Adobe Fire District, and merge Cotati's and Rohnert Park's police.
Rohnert Park stands to gain seasoned firefighters and substantially reduce overtime paid to officers sitting in firehouses waiting for calls. Cotati stands to gain a better trained police department and would no longer pay an entire police force to serve a few.
Also, Rohnert Park's M section firehouse would provide Cotati with faster service than the Penngrove station.
Cotati could raze its shuttered firehouse, expanding its park and enhancing its self-perceived small town setting. Rohnert Park, in turn, could reduce the throttlehold of power its public safety officers union holds on the community.
Should this happen? Absolutely.
Will it happen? Absolutely not.
The Rohnert Park public safety officers union will not give up their beloved overtime. Cotati's roundabout-hating citizens fear anything that smells of Rohnert Park — or common sense. Case in point: the two cities couldn't agree on a public library. Agreeing on something as important as police and fire safety is too pragmatic.