HOUSTON — More than 3,000 Houston firfighters have signed a resolution rejecting the leadership of Chief Samuel Peña.
The resolution the fire fighters signed outlined a wide range of issues they have with the department such as under-funding and cutting of the department budget, the continuing decline of the Houston Fire Department fleet and its facilities.
Exactly 3,018 fire fighters signed the ‘no-confidence’ resolution, which the Houston Professional Firefighters Association says reflects “serious and urgent concerns” over “continuing mismanagement” of the city's fire department.
Peña responded to the vote with a statement of his own, saying the concerns raised gave him a sense of urgency to make sure the firefighters are aware of how he is supporting the work they do. He went on to list accomplishments including more money allocated to fire truck replacements than the previous three years and several improvements relating to cancer prevention initiatives.
“I do know this: it will take all of us working together to resolve the challenges we face. we cannot afford to fight each other. we must focus on fighting fires and floods, and for the resources needed,” he said in the statement.
At the end of all of this, Mayor Sylvester Turner is the only one that can remove Peña from his position as chief. The mayor continues to support him, saying he’s a person of integrity and a strong leader of the department. Turner said what the union is doing is 100% political.