Too much secrecy

Dear editor:
I would like to commend Mr. Krukoski on his letter to the editor last week about the secrecy of town council.
One issue that he missed was the cutbacks at the fire department. Oops, that’s right, hardly any one in town knows about the cutbacks at the fire department because it was all done behind closed doors, like everything else this council has done.
There was one public meeting about the fire department and council was told to leave it alone. It was a packed hall. Since then, everything has been done behind closed doors.
When the last firefighter retired, his position was not filled. Because of this, there is now a sign on the door of the fire hall that reads, “Firefighters may be out of the hall. If this is an emergency, call 9-1-1.”
There are many times when there is only one firefighter on shift and if he has to leave the hall for any reason (medical or fire calls), the door is locked and there is no one there to answer the door or to take your phone calls.
Also because staffing has been cut, Fort Frances and district dispatching of fire departments has been sent to the Dryden Police Service. That is right, we no longer have local dispatch that used to part of our fire department.
This is not a free service from the Dryden Police Service. Rather, this is costing us, the taxpayers, tens of thousands of dollars a year.
When the fire department was manned fully, dispatching was part of the firefighters’ duties.
The district fire departments did pay a nominal fee to Fort for their dispatching, but not as much as what they are paying the Dryden Police Service.
They did offer to pay the same amount of money to Fort Frances that they pay the Dryden Police Service to keep dispatch here but town council would have nothing to do with it.
I have heard numbers of anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 per fire department. With at least nine other fire departments in the district, that would have been a fair chunk of change that would have been kept in our district—and in Fort Frances.
Instead, our hard-earned money we are putting out in tax dollars is being sent to Dryden.
In closing, I agree with Mr. Krukoski that something must be done about town council. As residents of Fort Frances, we should be asking all potential council members where they stand on the issues surrounding the health and well-being of our community—no matter what the issue is.
Veronica Davis
Fort Frances, Ont.