Fire district boards are out of sight
I submit that often fire district boards allow only the most determined to know what they're doing.
I have lived in Arizona since 1957, and I've never seen a published notice of a meeting, nor an election of any sort for director of a fire district board. Since I helped gather the signatures of property owners for the annexation of my neighborhood into the new Mountain Vista Fire District, I kept inquiring until I knew the time and date of its fire district board meeting this week.
In Mountain Vista Fire District, notice of the meetings is posted on four boards scattered about the district. Finding one is the first challenge.
The elected directors choose among themselves who is to be chairperson, treasurer, secretary, etc. I have discovered that some intrigue was involved in the latest arrangement of officers – but that's the nature of politics.
It was when the monthly Mountain Vista meeting began that I was stupefied. Out of 25,000 persons supposedly invited to attend a crucially important meeting, called to decide the fate of two or three fire stations and two $480,000 fire trucks and the expenditure of a million or two, and whether a present fire station near my home was to be allowed to remain, I was the total public presence; the only person not an officer, director, legal counsel or firefighter — a score of whom were present.
I went to the meeting because some 2,400 persons who are now in the Mountain Vista Fire District do not know that there is a not-so-discrete plan amongst some of the directors and the administrative chief to close a fire station located a stone's throw away from my neighbors and me – the one on Magee just west of North Oracle, after we were promised that it would it continue to be allowed to protect us if we voted for annexation. We also discovered this week that the number of fire stations promised the district has been recently proposed to be reduced from three to only two. It worries us that a district of 12 square miles, inhabited by 25,000 persons could be adequately served and protected by only two fire stations.
Phil Richardson, Oro Valley
This letter was shortened – Ed