2013-06-01 / Editorials & Letters

Seven months too late!

It’s not surprising that few residents came out last Thursday night for Buckeye Lake Village’s show up, but shut up public meeting on the fire department. After touting the meeting for months and changing its date three times, residents were surprised to learn a few days before the meeting that there would be NO opportunity for public comments or discussion.

Council member and Safety Committee Clay Carroll had a script and generally stuck to it. If you have been hibernating for the last nine months, you could be forgiven for thinking that maybe they do have a plan. It might have been a good update last October, some two months after The Beacon detailed continuing deficiencies in staffing that affect response times and treatment.

But we’re in the real world, where residents and visitors have waited NINE long months for Patients 1st care. There was precious little substance in Carroll’s remarks. Some of his most important statements were what he didn’t say. He mentioned the mayor’s advisory committee, but somehow forgot that their most significant recommendation was ignored.

The focus is to still save the Buckeye Lake Fire Department, no matter how many lives are put at risk. The structure is most important, not the mission.

Carroll did take a couple of baby-steps toward acknowledging a few missteps. “Occasionally” a shift was missed, he said. For example, more than 30 percent of the shifts weren’t filled last August. That’s pretty high to fit ‘occasionally.’ We also would probably use a stronger word than ‘lackadaisical’ to describe the months that Fire Chief Pete Leindecker ignored Mayor Rick Baker’s directive. The normally absent chief did make a cameo appearance Thursday night.

Carroll ended the meeting assuring the small crowd that, “We are not sitting on our thumbs…We can’t get there overnight.” In reality, they haven’t got very far in 287 nights!

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