Mayor Johnson's announcement of hiring a (former) Buffalo Grove village management employee to "temporarily" head the Elk Grove Village Fire Department smacks of politics and interference.
However good Mr. Balling's management and dispatch experience, he has not lived the life, does not claim the loyalty of individuals who put their lives on the line with every call, has no intimate knowledge of the village.
It would seem that the mayor prefers more direct control, rather than supportive oversight, of our fine department and those officers who have proved their leadership, character, and management expertise.
Coupling this disappointing managerial announcement was the recent news that Elk Grove Village has chosen to annex the BP oil storage facility -- British Petroleum has one of the worst safety records in the world -- one wonders how much transparency remains.
ABC News reported that "records show BP has one of the worst U.S. safety records of any oil company" (May 27, 2010). Safety violations are far more numerous than the Texas City chemical leak and the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, yet we now have responsibility for fire safety at the BP O'Hare facility.
Questions should be asked about both fire department decisions; rubber stamps are not an adequate answer.
Sheila M. Barrett
Elk Grove Village