Based on the article in last week’s paper, and what I saw on TV, I must say I am appalled by what is being done by our town council.
At last year’s open meeting, the possibility of reducing the size of the fire department was discussed—and withdrawn—due in part to public outcry and opinion.
Recent events have shown council is not only rejecting the opinion of those who have elected them, but they are scurrying around in dark corners to do so.
In a closed meeting, they make a decision based on a report that they haven’t made public, then treat the decision as a pebble on the road of a general meeting.
It occurs to me that the savings being realized are political rather than financial. While council can show a budget reduced by the cost of one full-time person, the taxpayer still has to pay for this reduced coverage.
We all know how insurance companies like their money, and council now has given them more than ample reason to raise their already exorbitant rates.
I would hazard a guess that this increase would be more than double the tax rate increase.
In this climate of political mistrust, I am aghast our very own council would even consider such behaviour. Are the citizens of Fort Frances to expect this chicanery at every turn, or will council resort to holding meetings that simply do not allow for further public input?
I wonder if the people of this community are aware of the cut in services caused by the loss of just one firefighter, and I wonder who is next on the chopping block?
I realize there is always the possibility that council will increase the number of staff and equipment allotted to the other emergency services to compensate for the lost first response capability provided by the current Fire Department.
And it also may create an emergency services dispatch centre to co-ordinate the available resources, but this will cost the taxpayer even more than the existing set-up.
One final point I’d like to make is that there seemed to be a marked absence of news coverage for something that could affect the residents of this town so drastically.
Fort Frances, Ont.