2008-06-07 / Editorials & Letters

Trustees have no right to hold fire contract money

Editor:

A township trustee is an elected office in the local government in the State of Ohio. A township trustee administers a township, which in Ohio is the primary political subdivision of a county, and in common with most other county officials serves a term of four years.

Their duties include: Providing fireprotection and ambulance service, zoning, controlling weeds, managing the township budget and financial records, preparing an annual financial report and township roads

Once upon a time in a far away place lived 6,436 happy residents. This is a story about the people of Walnut Township. The people of the township voted Sunny Dupler, Ralph Zollinger, and Walter Gabriel to be their trustees. They took an oath to serve the people for the better.

See if it was a fairy tall this wouldn't really be a problem. But this is reality. Over 800 times a year, a Walnut Township resident calls 9-1-1, whether it's a house fireor a small child that has bumped their head. And that's exactly what emergency dispatch is for.

9-1-1 is not just for when there's a fireor car accident. It is there for when residents have no where else to turn. They call 9-1-1 for one purpose and one purpose only. They need HELP!!!

In some places in Ohio, residents aren't so lucky. They don't have 24/7 on station coverage for emergencies. In Walnut Township, we are fortunate. We have highly trained paramedics and EMTs on station 24/7, ready to respond to your call for help. However when our trustees, the ones we elected, begin to mess with that, it needs to be stopped.

On April 22, 2008, the trustees paid the Village of Millersport $128,687.20 The correct amount of money would have been approximately $260,000. No explanation or accounting was provided. This short payment threatens the ability to provide coverage at both the FairfieldBeach and Millersport firestations. This means we are moving backwards when we should be going forward. And this is not the first time it's happened.

So what are the not so happy residents to do? It's YOUR MONEY - YOUR TAXES - YOUR TRUSTEES - YOUR SAFETY. You certainly don't want to call 9-1-1 when you need help and then have to wait for volunteers to leave home/work, drive to the station and then drive to your home.

Here's some some food for thought. Your brain and heart tissues begin to die in four minutes without oxygen. Seconds count when it comes to life safety.

Walnut Township residents have the duty to speak up and stand up for your right to have the emergency services that you have PAID for. The trustees have NO RIGHT TO HOLD YOUR MONEY from the agency they contracted to protect you.

The next township trustee meeting is at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 10. Most of us will be at work then, but if you can get off I encourage you to attend the meeting. It will be well worth it. I don't want my children to look back and say Walnut Township failed to protect their residents.

Hopefully this fairy tale will end up with a happy ending. But that's up to you - the 6,435 happy residents of Walnut Township. I know I'm not happy now. Tammie Brown Liebs Island

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