Hilmer, Stegman ‘dictate instead of direct’

To the editor:

With each board meeting of the Mehl-ville Fire Protection District comes a new twist. Two board members continue to attempt to demoralize both employees and taxpayers of this district.

The new open meeting policy invoked in July requires a “speaker’s card” to be completed and turned in before the meeting convenes. The card requests the “subject of comment” of the speaker.

You may not have a problem with that, but I do as it restricts anyone from discussing any issue that comes up during that meeting. In fact it will be two weeks later before anyone can offer comment on issues raised during any given meeting. So much for their rhetoric that “the concerns and interests of the district’s residents are paramount.”

Now the meeting’s agenda has been re-designed. “Closed session” has been moved to the last order of business. So now the board doesn’t reconvene the regular meeting to disclose to those in attendance what was done during “closed session.”

Again, two weeks before most taxpayers gain knowledge of, or have the opportunity to comment on, any action of the board during the most recent “closed session” — another instance of Hilmer and Stegman attempting to dictate instead of direct our district. This latest twist resulted in the open session of the Aug. 15 board meeting being just 16 minutes long.

Taxpayers making the effort to attend meetings of any public body deserve more. I hope taxpayers don’t get discouraged and stop attending future meetings of the Mehlville Fire Protection District.

Instead, I hope they demonstrate their outrage over the abuse of power by two-thirds of the Mehlville Fire Protection District board by encouraging residents, friends and neighbors to attend the meetings and stand up for their rights.

Dennis C. Skelton


Editor’s note: Mr. Skelton is the founder of Protecting our Protectors, “a concerned group of citizens who support the firefighters and paramedics of the Mehl-ville Fire Protection District.”