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Letter to the Editor – Bill Connelly

Sirs,
I am writing in regards to the Lowndes County Supervisors meeting of July 31, 2012. It is obvious that Mr. Sanders is trying to increase a single man’s power and pocket book rather than looking after the safety of his constituents. Having read the interlocal agreement that Mr. Sanders, Columbus Fire and Rescue Ken Moore, Mayor Smith and the city’s attorney drafted and had ready for signature prior to the meeting, I believe you were doing more than just “throwing it out there for discussion” (WCBI TV interview July 31, 2012 10 o’clock news). If you were “just throwing it out there” Mr. Sanders why was the agreement ready and quickly seconded by Mr. Holliman it when you brought it up? Why was the county attorney not consulted? Why were the board of directors of the county fire departments not consulted prior to the meeting? Why were the District 1,2,3,4 and 5 Fire Chiefs not consulted prior to the meeting? Why does Mr. Sanders interlocal agreement give complete autonomy over personnel, funds, apparatus, stations and the kitchen sink to Ken Moore? Kudos are to be given to Mr. Bill Brigham for breaking ranks from Mr. Sanders and to Mr. Brooks and Mr. Smith for standing their ground. Mr. Sanders tried a power play and it failed. Mr. Sanders states that the volunteers are over reacting and spreading rumors about “Ken is going to take away fire trucks (and money) from volunteer fire departments”. Mr. Sanders proposal that the Columbus City Fire and Rescue Chief have 100% complete autonomy over the volunteers, do you really think he is not going to feather his own nest? Ken Moore has 100 percent control over the grants available from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the city and county. Why has the county not received one penny from those grants but the city has purchased all kind of equipment (rarely used) that sits behind station 2 on Martin Luther King Blvd, that could have been better spent by giving the county fire its fair share? The city needs a new truck that will cost in excess of $400,000 that the city does not have the money for. Mr. Sanders do you think that money will not come from the county coffers? There is no verbiage in the agreement that separates funds from the city and county, it says Ken Moore has total control over all funding. Do you really think that he is going to be benevolent and share the wealth with the county, the same as he does with the DHS grants? It also amazing the timing of the yellow journalism headline in the Columbus Dispatch last week, that it took an hour to get a fire truck to a fire in the county, a total and utter lie. I’ve yet to see a retraction on the front page of that paper saying they were wrong. We have a very professional efficient fire protection system in the county with 100% volunteers, contrary to the beliefs of the city fire department and leadership. Mr. Sanders speaks of Mr. Moore’s accomplishment of getting the city a higher fire rating, it had little to do with the City Fire but more because the City Water Department installed larger water lines in a one neighborhood that permitted the fire department to flow more water, thus achieving a higher rating. What is the average age of the city fire trucks versus the average age of county fire trucks? I don’t have the exact numbers but I know that the county fire departments primary response equipment is under 5 years, and I know the city’s trucks don’t even come close to being that new. Where is the demonstration of Mr. Moore’s fiscal prowess if the city’s equipment is aging and out of date? Is he really going to put the county first when it comes to the money. Mr. Sanders is trying to let Mr. Moore create an empire and unless the citizens of Lowndes county are made aware of the back door politics that are being practiced by our Board of Supervisors president and stop him, we will all be paying higher insurance rates because our county fire ratings will be decreased, increasing our premiums. This will happen because the county fire service will suffer at the hands of the city, unfortunately that proof won’t be able to be seen until after Mr. Sanders plan is in effect and then it will be way to late. I am a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder in the county and we do hear things about the city department that scare some of us to death. I urge the people of Lowndes County to contact their supervisor and ask them about all of this. I have provided a copy of the agreement to the Packet for publication and urge everyone to read it and you be the judge. In my opinion Mr. Sanders is giving away your fire departments to one man to do as he sees fit without having to answer to anyone but his buddy on the board of supervisors. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely
Respectfully
Bill Connelly

 

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4 comments

  1. What about this document, Harry. A lot of people in District 1 have been defending you on this thing, but this doesn’t seem to align with what you’ve been telling us in the press. Harry, where did this document come from, whose idea was it and why did it have to come to us through a third party?
    As a city property owner and taxpayer, I’ve come to expect just about everything the city does to be done in the dark, behind closed doors and we only find out about it after it’s already a done deal. Harry, don’t go there. People are leaving the city to get away from that kind of nonsense.

  2. Harold

    look deep and you will see John and Bill are in Harry’s pocket. Bill did not break away. Wait till the vote comes in and you will see him line up just like John. Harry is only doing this to get rid of Sammy and Cindy and get under Leroy’s skin. Harry is for Harry. It’s his way or else. He can’t get along with his own brothers. You are right on Mr. Connelly. Thanks for the good service you guys do.

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