MFPD chairman should leave other fire districts alone, reader says

To the editor:

As a taxpaying resident of Mehlville, I’m having trouble understanding why this newspaper and the Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors need names and salaries of fire district employees across the metro area.

All that concerns me is how my taxes are being spent in this district. From what I can see, there is a lot of waste right here at home.

How much of my tax dollars are being spent on legal fees to send these requests to all these other fire districts? Are my tax dollars being spent on the self-serving propaganda mill paper called the Hotline? And why did we spend $100,000 more than the appraised value for the land where the new No. 4 firehouse will be on Tesson Ferry Road? Why are my tax dollars being paid to outside firms to perform internal investigations on our firefighters?

As far as our firefighters’ compensation goes, how can board Chairman Aaron Hilmer claim that FICA taxes and workers’ compensation be included in a benefit package? Those expenses are paid on every employee of any company and these are paid to Social Security and workers’ compensation funds, not the employee.

I also hear claims our firefighters are paid too much for only 10 days per month. These people work 24 hours a day.  Multiply that by 10 days and that’s 240 hours a month. A normal eight-hour day, five days a week, four weeks a month comes out to 160 hours a month. Our firefighters work 80 hours more than most people work. Many of those 24-hour days are without sleep or with unfinished meals.

These people are trained professionals, but to read some articles in the Hotline, a person would think they’re criminals and that’s not right. There are plenty of problems right here within our own district.

I believe Mr. Hilmer should try to solve our own problems and leave the other fire districts alone. This is only going to bring more legal action against Mehlville and more wasted tax dollars.

Don Benson


Editor’s note: The Tesson Ferry Road property was appraised by Acquisition Services Inc. at $827,000. The Mehlville Fire Protection District paid $800,000 for the one-acre parcel.