Reader expresses appreciation to members of Mehlville fire board

To the editor:

This is a letter of appreciation to Aaron Hilmer, Bonnie Stegman, and Ed Ryan, who comprise the Board of Directors of the Mehlville Fire Protection District.

Many taxpayers may have forgotten the financial mess the Mehlville Fire Protection District was facing roughly a dozen years ago.

At that time, taxpayers were informed by the then-Board of Directors that to maintain the current level of services a significant tax increase was needed.

Then along came Aaron Hilmer and Bonnie Stegman, who ran for positions on the Board of Directors with a platform of tax reduction and providing better service.

Eventually, Ed Ryan was elected to the board and the team of Hilmer, Stegman, and Ryan were able to gradually implement many common sense changes that have saved taxpayers millions since their elections.

As promised, these directors improved services and reduced taxes. This may sound like a fantasy, but Hilmer, Stegman, and Ryan made it reality.

Some of their accomplishments include three new firehouses, new fire trucks and new ambulances — all of this without tax increases. The district provides the largest ambulance service of all fire districts in St. Louis County.

The district has consistently earned awards for excellence in financial reporting. Debt and financial liabilities continue to decline as obligations from the prior regime are retired.

Today, taxpayers in the Mehlville Fire Protection District continue to reap the rewards from the hard work and courage of these dedicated public servants — Aaron Hilmer, Bonnie Stegman and Ed Ryan.