2012-09-15 / Editorials & Letters

Committee: Too little, too late

Editor:

At the 9/10 Buckeye Lake Village Council meeting, Mayor Baker finally addressed some issues surrounding the fire department. I applaud his move to appoint an advisory committee, however, it’s too little too late.

Shortly after Baker took office in January 2010, I pointed out some deficiencies in the department and suggested he replace Chief Leindecker. Baker made no commitments, however, his response did give me hope that things would change. “Well, I wouldn’t want them to come to MY house,” he chuckled. Now I’m sure Baker will deny making that comment but that’s what he said. As we stood just a block from Baker’s house, I had nothing to say but I remember feeling encouraged. I thought, “Surely he’ll make a change if he feels that way.”

Well, here we are two years and nine months later and this ONE-ISSUE MAYOR has done NOTHING to improve a department that he wouldn’t want showing up at his own home. Un-be-lieve-able!

Under our strong mayor form of government, he’s the only one who can fix this public safety issue that potentially affects every single resident!

Yes, finally THIS WEEK Baker announced the appointment of an advisory committee. But is he REALLY serious or it just ‘smoke and mirrors?’ After all, he only made this announcement and handed down his directives to the fire chief after getting pounded for four weeks in The Beacon. He had to do something now, didn’t he? Maybe the news reached his political cronies in Newark.

It’s disappointing that Mayor Baker couldn’t just step up on his own. He often touts his long history of public service but I really don’t see the leadership that I expected. Where’s the substance? He has hardly any presence at the village hall. His monthly luncheon is hardly a replacement for making himself available for the dayto day challenges facing the village staff. Baker has made it painfully obvious that he cares about just one issue-his demolition project.

I am encouraged once again that our safety issues may be taken seriously. The advisory committee appears to be a professional group. Hopefully, they’ll be able to sort the chaff from the wheat. Village residents deserve better response time and professional service. After all, we’re paying for it. Our paid staff and volunteers deserve better direction and leadership. Over the years, we’ve lost quite a few good individuals who tried to hang in there for the residents but simply couldn’t be a part of such a broken department any longer. Let’s fix it for everyone - for our children, for our elderly and for our EMTs, Medics, firefighters and our generous mutual aid responders. Let’s fix it because we want to be better!

Peggy Wells
Buckeye Lake

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