Unlike Mayor David Cohen, Setti Warren is holding off on asking for rides on one of Newton's fire engines. And that's fine by the firefighters.
The firefighters' union endorsed Warren Friday, becoming the first municipal union to make an endorsement. Union president Tom Lopez said Warren's background in FEMA helped him connect with emergency responders, and he thought Warren would be able to repair relations between City Hall and the fire department, which have been strained under the Cohen administration.
"There's been a lot of difficult problems in the last seven years," Lopez said. "There are serious issues of neglect in the fire department."
Warren said he would try to get federal money, including grants and Homeland Security dollars, to help pay for fire department equipment. He also wanted to tap colleges for improvements to the fire department.
"It's vitally important, if Newton is going to be successful, to have first responders have their training and equipment be first rate so they can protect the citizens of the community," Warren said.