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Referendum

With some trepidation I enter the mine field of comments on the Fire boards decision to seek management contract with CDF. There isnít an easy way through this but I feel itís a necessary trip.

While I had not advocated one solution over another, I had only asked both boards to make their decision based on all available data and based on what is right and best for the community. This decision was never ever going to be easy or without emotions. And there where many arguments presented on behalf of all options.

The boards have now made their decision and while it is not possible to ever make a decisions that satisfies 100% of the people, their decisions were made on behalf of a significant majority of the communities based on data presented to them. And it is time to move forward.

I am disappointed to read that there are now threats of referendums by those that disagree with the decision. Especially on referendums that have no legal ability to change the outcome. I wonder what comments would be made by those seeking a referendum now if the decision had been opposite and there were referendum threats to reverse that decision. My guess is that they would not be supportive and most likely not printable in a family newspaper.

The only elements that should have gone into the decision were facts. I attended the meetings and there where many emotional arguments (rightfully so because of the possible impacts to jobs) but there were no facts presented on meeting the financial constraints and the service needs that CDF or SM would provide on Day 1 of the management contract. No plan or recommendations were made on how the boards were going to get there without a management contract. And no action was the worse option for the community.

In todayís economic business environment, a large majority of those that are the revenue source for the fire districts (taxpayers), have constant fears of job stability and retirement security. And when there are management or merger changes, they are not guaranteed to keep their job and their salary no matter what.

I understand that change is never comfortable for anyone, and we would all gladly avoid it. But we are all forced to deal with change if we want to continue our current lifestyle. So my advice is not to complain about the missing 16 drops of water in a glass but to look around and feel blessed because many have lost most of their water and some donít even have a glass anymore.

As far as the referendum, I may be disappointed that taxes will be used to put them on the ballot without any ability to change the outcome, but I look forward to them because I think itís high time the whole community gets to speak on this issue.


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