Two-Platoon Defeated at Lynn

Two-Platoon Defeated at Lynn

Lynn, Mass., at its municpal election December 8 defeated a proposition to adopt the twoplatoon system for the fire department of that city, by a vote of 11,295 to 4,653, a majority of 6,642 against it. The firemen were divided on the question. When the matter was first presented several months ago apparently the firemen were largely in its favor. As time went on opposition to its adoption by firemen constantly increased and continued to do so to the end. All the seven wards cast large majorities against the adoption of the system and all but one of the 24 voting precincts were against it. Precinct one of ward 5 cast 188 votes for and 166 against its adoption a majority of 22 in its favor. There were 16,997 votes cast in the city election out of a registration of 19,484 and a total of 15,948 out of the 16,997 cast for all the officers, etc., were cast on the two platoon question, and 1,049 did not vote on this question. It was a cold, bleak, disagreeable day and the large vote cast was a surprise for so unfavorable an election day. The extra cost of $70.000 extra appropriation each year, which it was claimed by the opponents of the system would be its cost was an important factor in its defeat. Lieutenant Fred L. Goodridge, who was chairman of the committee for the bill, stated in an interview. “I believe now that the two-platoon bill was not fully explained to the people. There was a misunderstanding, and I lay the defeat of the bill to that one word, misunderstood, coupled with some misrepresentations made. We are not done yet, and I think there will be some steps taken to do something that will be satisfactory to every member of the department.” Captain Alfred G. Preble, who was one of the formost workrs against the bill, stated in an interview. “We feel very thankful for the great vote against the bill and extend our thanks to the voters and to the press for their courtesy in publishing our communications. We feel that we have won a great victory. We were not in favor of the bill as drawn and, while we are in favor of the system, we believed that the conditions at the present time are far better than they would be under the working of the bill that was presented.” Lynn is the only eastern city that has voted on the question of adopting the two platoon system. The state legislature and city councils of several cities of eastern states, and fire department managing boards have considered the matter and all have defeated ordinances and bills for its adoption. The only eastern city that now has this two-platoon system is Yonkers, N. Y., where it went into operation July 5, 1913, as an experiment by authority of the city council. It has been a success in that city. Omaha was the first city to adopt it, March 23. 1907. and eleven cities now have it, one of which, Spokane, Wash., has voted to abandon it on January 1, after a trial of one year, and will be the only city that has adopted it to abandon it.

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