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posted: 3/18/2011 1:30 PM

Fire board thinks outside the box

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Police, and firemen who risk their lives and health should have disability and death benefits. Educational employees with these other two mentioned groups should all have to participate in the same Social Security system as every other citizen.

The proactive cost cutting within our municipalities must be seen before we ask the citizenry who are bleeding in this economy to belly up for one more dime of taxation.

I cannot understand why local fire departments would eliminate the paid-on-call volunteer firefighters. This has been an efficient, as-needed expense, which was provided by men and women with heart, passion and local concern. There is no stigma of being less professional as a department, as these folks brought talent, commitment and were trained along with the full-time staffing.

The St. Charles Fire Department has failed with referendums for new taxes to maintain and equalize the service in the Fox River & Countryside Fire District, which they alone until recently were responsible to service.

The proactive decisions to take the available monies and to develop alternately two new fire stations, with professional staffing and to now cover the farthest sections of the district with up to now the longest response time, is to be commended by the fire district board.

This board has quickly taken the budgets, services and economic conditions and pragmatically developed "new thinking." This is a direct response to the St. Charles Fire Department not doing so.

While the needs for the future budgets is unknown, we are initially given positive projections. The city of St. Charles still has its service area covered and now the rest of the district will also, without new taxes. I only wish that all the governmental entities had the courage to look at what is needed and develop such "new thinking".

Interestingly, this board is all volunteers. It is not their pensions, and benefits being maintained, rather ours.

R.C. Feis

St. Charles