2007-09-22 / Editorials & Letters

Dispute will hurt residents

Editor:

My name is Gary Matheny and I chair the Village of Millersport's Safety Committee. First, I want to say what a great job our firefighters and Chief Bill Yates do for our village and Walnut Township.

I swore that I would never write to the paper about council issues, but I now feel strongly that there are things that the voters need to know. As long as I can remember, we have always provided a fantastic fire service for Millersport and Walnut Township residents. But when our latest contract come up with the township, the trustees began to ask for, in my opinion, too many expensive and time consuming tasks.

Here's some of them:

a. Proof of liability insurance;

b. Equipment inspection records;

c. Detailed firerun records;

d. Complete fund ledger reports;

e. All expense records;

They even initially demanded an eight minute response time anywhere in the township. We are not Domino's Pizza! We have a 100 percent response rate. It doesn't get any better than that.

What I don't understand is, when I have a contract with someone to side my house, I don't tell him how to do it, how much to pay his employees and basically try to run his business for him. I'm buying a service from him, not taking over his business.

The old saying - "If it isn't broke, why fix it?" - really fits this situation. Trustees have been withholding payment over some very triflingissues. We still haven't received our second quarterly payment due July 24 and our third quarterly payment is due next week. On the other hand, the Millersport Fire Department has responded to EVERY call for help we have received. We can't continue to provide this service indefinitely without payment. Ultimately, the only people that will be hurt will township residents and the only ones to benefit will be the lawyers if this battle continues.

I know I'm not the brightest star in the sky, but even I can see that this is going to hurt the two firelevies on the November ballot. I can only hope that certain people can get over these power issues and focus on providing the best fireand EMS service possible to us all.

As Millersport council members, we will continue to do the best job we can. If anyone, in the village or the township, have any complaints, we will do our best to address them. God bless our soldiers, police officersand firefighters.

Gary Matheny Millersport Village Council

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