What a shame. It is tragic, that the village of Barrington and the fire district could not sit down, confer and reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
Unfortunately, Barrington will be the big loser in this split. The village has received the lion's share of the operational revenue from the district for over 60 years. The village fire department will rely solely on the revenue from the general budget, which it shares with the police department, public works department, central administration and the manager's office.
The fire district is a taxing body that is legally obligated to spend its revenue specifically on fire and EMS services within its boundary. The village has turned back the clock 20 years to when I took over as chief of fire and EMS. At that time, the district and village had three contracts, all of which were in conflict with each other.
I guess they solved the contract issue, since there will be no active contract for fire or EMS. The district has been put into a position that makes it extremely difficult to negotiate any agreement without losing all leverage in disputes at a later date.
This situation could have been avoided with strong leadership and the cooperation of both sides.
David C. Danley
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