Former MFPD employee responds to board treasurer’s comments

I would like to respond to the remarks made by (Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors Treasurer) Bonnie Stegman in the April 19 edition of the Call.

My name is Joanne Evans and until Feb. 21 I was a 20-plus-year employee of the Mehlville Fire Protection District. I find it interesting that insofar as our employees are concerned, Mrs. Stegman states that “there have not been a ton of people leaving. Most of them have retired and some had retired or left the district before we were even sworn in.”

Truth be told, Mrs. Stegman, the reason so many of us left both before and after you got in was that you got in and we knew we would not get a fair shake from you and (board Chairman) Mr. (Aaron) Hilmer. This belief has absolutely turned out to be true.

We could see the writing on the wall and frankly knew you would turn out to be just who we thought you were — someone with an ax to grind. Personally, part of the reason I “retired” from Mehlville was because it became too tall of an order for me to be kind and compassionate and empathetic when we were being labeled as “thugs and bullies” in the press.

I lost my passion for the career I once loved. And it has been sad watching what you two have done to the morale of the employees. I’m sure you’re very proud.

If I were a “thug and bully,” then this brings to mind a very serious question Mrs. Stegman. Why would you ever keep such a person employed and entrust them to go into people’s homes?

Weren’t you afraid I’d do something to someone? How could you and Mr. Hilmer in all good conscience keep me employed? I should have been fired on the spot.

This very concern came up about one year ago with a resident that told us she had hesitated calling us because she had read all the stuff you wrote about us and wasn’t sure what she’d get. I think there is a word for what you did to me. Oh yeah, it’s called slander.

I can hardly process the fact that south county residents continue to naively buy what you are selling. Since they are, I felt it was time for me to move on. I personally don’t think those residents who voted you in deserve the fine and loyal employees who remain.

Lt. Joanne M. Evans, EMT-P

St. Clair