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Measure R firefighters' proposal debate Oct. 6

Palo Alto firefighters' union plan would require city election for any staff cutback or fire-station closure

A pro-and-con discussion/debate of Measure R in Palo Alto -- which would mandate voter approval for any cutback in Fire Department staffing or station closure if approved in the Nov. 2 election -- will be held Wednesday, Oct. 6, 7 to 9 p.m. in the Palo Alto Art Center auditorium, Newell and Embarcadero Roads.

The free panel is co-sponsored by the Palo Alto Weekly and the Palo Alto branch of the League of Women Voters.

Panelists will be Tony Spitaleri, a former Palo Alto fire captain and leader of the Palo Alto Firefighters Association union; Alan Davis, a San Francisco-based attorney with many years experience in labor law; former Palo Alto City Council member and Mayor Dena Mossar; and John Barton, a Palo Alto-based architect who has served on both the Palo Alto City Council and Board of Education.

Spitaleri and Davis support the measure as necessary to assure optimal public safety, and Mossar and Barton oppose it as a bad precedent of isolating one section of city operations from the overall city budget at the potential expense of other programs and services.

The panel will be moderated by Palo Alto Weekly Editor Jay Thorwaldson.

A question-and-answer period will follow the panelists' presentations.

-- Palo Alto Online staff

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