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Letter to the editor: Support a combined Dexter-Scio fire department

(Publisher’s note: The issue of a combined fire department is a topic that’s important to the readers of both Dexter and Lima townships. This letter is from Jim Boughton.)

I attended a public hearing earlier this week at the Dexter Township offices to hear discussion about the proposed regional fire department.

There was a big audience of township residents and several firefighters also made comments. All of the comments were positive and even the firefighters supported the proposal.

However, towards the end of the discussion it became obvious to the entire audience that three of the trustees, William Gajewski, Michael Howard and Carl Lesser and township Treasurer Libby Brushaber, were strongly opposed to the proposal.

When asked to explain their reasons for not supporting the proposal, the audience had to listen to these four individuals cite unsubstantiated and sometimes unintelligible deficiencies in the proposal in defense of their position.

Every proposed deficiency put forth by these four individuals was successfully rebuked by Township Supervisor Pat Kelly.  And yet, when a motion was made to bring the proposal to a roll call vote, Carl Lesser made a motion to table the proposal and the four board members who were fighting against the proposal successfully voted to table the proposal.

It was evident from the discussion that the township residents and the firefighters themselves are in favor of the proposal. Disregard the projected cost savings. Getting a bigger fire department through the consolidation should result in more uniform training for all firefighters and better utilization of equipment. It should also attract a top notch fire chief which could enhance the benefits of the consolidation.

However, the overriding issue is that the regional fire consolidation should decrease response times to fires and medical emergencies over the entire township. And when a successful outcome to these calls is measured in seconds, why would anyone with a rational thought process not support it?

I would hope everyone on the township board would finally put our residents’ best interest ahead of personal agendas in considering the consolidation proposal.

I think many residents of our township are still disgusted by the way the Dexter Townhall firehouse location was handled and the faction of the board that tabled the regional fire consolidation vote is largely responsible it.

If this regional fire consolidation proposal is defeated by the township board, it will become crystal clear who on this board is working the residents of Dexter Township and who is working for our benefit. Those not working for our best interests defeat do not deserve to be re-elected.

Jim Boughton

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