Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker has been speaking out about how Lawrence laid off 23 firefighters due to budget cuts and, as a result, now has to rely on neighboring communities for help with fires more often.

Baker’s spokesman called me yesterday to see if I wanted to talk to Baker, so I had a brief phone interview with the candidate.

Here’s a summary:

Baker said Mayor William Lantigua, a Democrat, and Gov. Deval Patrick, also a Democrat, “have completely dropped the ball on the city and the citizens of Lawrence.” He said that in light of this past weekend’s back-to-back fires, his biggest concern is that communities who provided mutual aid may have second thoughts next time.

He repeated his call for a financial control board or a receiver to go into the city, although he said receivership is unlikely at this point.

If he was governor, Baker said he would “challenge every single assumption there is about how things work and how you get things done.”

“If in every single case you can squeeze a dollar of administration or overhead out of the city… do it,” he said. “Stop doing anything that’s discretionary and really get a focus on things that are fundamental to public safety or citizen safety.”

“The parameters would be to challenge everything.”

  • Anonymous

    What happens to the money . The state and Fedral Govt. pick up the school departments budget . The Feds just came up with  $5.5 milloin for the police department . The water department could not run at a loss because rates go up every year . What happens to my taxes ,where is the bang for my buck . My Family has never used the public school system the fire station in my neighborhood is closed . The roads are horrible , the plowing was non exsisent last winter . The commons and ball parks are nothing special and the city takes in a lot of money from softball leagues and school department for upkeep . If it’s to late for a reciever or a financial control board what type of message does that send to the people of Lawrence

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