Urges ‘yes’ vote on fire district’siProposition S

To the editor:

Having attended the seven Fire DistrictiAdvisory Committee for Tomorrow’siEmer-gency Services meetings, I can say thatiI have learned a lot about the Mehlville Fire Protection Districtiand why it needs to be updated.

There are seven stations and a fleet of 40 vehicles in the district. That alone is a major project. There is also a nighttime approximate population of 120,000 in 52 square miles with two major hospitals, a large shopping mall, 10 nursing/retirement facilities, and more than 2,500 businesses, churches and schools on each watch. That is a major responsibility.

At these seven meetings, we listened to personnel who told us the facts about the equipment, staffing, facilities, and the finances needed to operate the same. My only regret is that more people could not have attended these meetings and learned the facts too.

Before these meetings took place, I had no knowledge of what is entailed in keeping the districtiin operation. I was as skeptical as the rest of those thatiI sat with for each meeting.

These meetings were presented in a very professional manner, and each participant had the opportunity to ask questions of the personnel as well as the members of the fire board. All questions were answered that evening or atithe next meeting.

The committee chairmen consisting of Judith Wideman, Dave Sinclair, Gail Chat-field and Bill Cocos did a yeoman’sijob providing the opportunity for everyone involved to have their say and either agree or disagree with the ideas presented.

I, for one, can say I’m not excited about any tax increase. On the other hand, that by having attended these meetings, I understand why it must be considered and there must be a vote on this issue.

Recently, there was a letter in another south countyipaper in which a resident literallyitore up the districtiand its personnel. This person did this by what I call “shooting from the hip.” There were numerous wrongs presented in the letter.

In response there was a letter written by a Mehlville firefighter where the facts were set out, and the misconceptions of the first letter were corrected. It is easy for one to take negative thoughts and add more to make an interesting letter for some. The real facts are more important atithis time.

Having said all this and having attended all the FACTS meetings, I as a taxpayer and resident of the Mehlville Fire Protec-tion District, do support passing Proposi-tion S and hopeiall residents will study the “real facts” and vote accordingly.

Don Lauer

Green Park