Cuoio and Broman tied together

February 15th, 2011 by Ken

Fate sometimes ties people together in ways they didn’t anticipate.    When I think of what’s happening in Lacey I remember that.

Greg Cuoio is retiring as Lacey City Manager after 24 years.  At the same time, Jim Broman is retiring as Lacey Fire Chief after 22 years.   During that period of time their fates often intertwined.

From the very beginning of city hood, Lacey contracted with Lacey Fire District 3 for fire services.  This was done by a series of contracts.   In the early days, the two sides worked together with very little controversy.

Then, Cuoio and Broman arrived on the scene.

At least three times in the last 20 years, these two have had to negotiate a new fire service contract.   It was not without controversy.  At least twice, Cuoio threatened to cut the fire district out, and have the city start its own fire department.    He even went so far on one occasion to hire a consultant to determine how this could be done.

The battle between these two ended last year when voters turned three of Cuoio’s city council supporters out of office and opted to annex into the fire district.  This was a major defeat for the Lacey City Manager who had managed over the years to garner community support for his many activities.

But Broman wasn’t without his own failures.   At least twice, the fire chief went to the City of Lacey,  fire helmet in hand, asking the city to give the district more money than the negotiated contract called for.  And, both times, the city managed to bail the fire district out of financial problems.

Broman and Cuoio had different ideas of how to advance the future of their respective government bodies.  Cuoio became involved in local community activities and even served a term on the Lacey Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.  Broman, on the other hand, shyed away from local involvement and concentrated on state and national involvement in fire fighting activities.

Like it or not, Cuoio and Broman shaped the future of the Lacey community through their greatest successes and their greatest failures.

Posted in Government, History, Informational, The Real News

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