The recent deliberations reported by the St. Charles Countryside Fire Protection District have resulted in confusion, fear and anger. That's not surprising since safety and security are fundamental to how we live.
However, consider the dilemma facing the SCCFPD trustees who are confronted with rising costs and stagnant revenues, they are acting responsibly by considering alternatives to the fire protection and ambulance services. The irresponsible thing to do is nothing by continuing to deficit spend until funds are exhausted and then the fire district becomes defunct. We all know that is not an acceptable alternative.
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I urge you to give the fire district board ample opportunity to explain the who, what, where, when and why of their proposed actions perhaps through community forums before passing final judgment. If, after hearing all the facts, you would rather pay increased taxes to retain current services, make sure you make that clear to the board along with a pledge to assist with a referendum.
Further, the advisory referendum ballot questions developed by the Citizen Advisory Committee were never meant to be coupled to the issue of changing service providers. The questions were simply intended to gauge public opinion toward a small tax increase or an undefined reduction of services. It is regrettable the two have become intertwined.
Steven J. Catlin
SCCFPD Citizen Advisory Committee
St. Charles Township