Residents still should monitor fire board’s actions
Even after the Evergreen Fire Protection District board takes a victory lap, it should be remembered that what they achieved is a pyrrhic victory. With their bullying approach and arrogant disregard for reasonable citizen concerns, they have quite seriously torn the fabric of trust and cooperation that is so important in small-town fire districts. In addition, their tactics with local businesses to gain support and their expenditure of substantial money for signage and newspaper ads speaks volumes about the lengths to which they would go to get their own way.
I want to thank all the residents who dedicated so much work to bring a valid issue to the attention of this community. All involved took on considerable personal stress to do an important service. It is a shame that many voters bought the propaganda and pressure tactics used by the fire board, but your efforts are not in vain. It will be interesting to monitor the actual usage of that ill-conceived building, and I will bet that there will be air-quality impacts and other issues arising that will cause many voters to regret their decision. The reputation of this already palatial fire compound will not be enhanced with this absurd building, and therefore future tax-levy discussions might be interesting as well.
After the first fire board meeting since the vote, it was noted that many residents thought the new burn building was going to be used only once a month for burning wood, but that is not the case. The fire department neglected to mention that it would still be used for training with the chemical smoke, or I suppose they assumed that the residents would automatically understand this. The actual burning with wood is supposed to take place only 12 times a year. These situations will be monitored by the nearby residents.
The other major problem with the new burn facility is the reflection off the roof. Until the roof is painted, be careful driving on Bergen Parkway toward the fire station. The sun reflecting off the slanted roof of the building is blinding and affects the areas where there are two crosswalks across Bergen Parkway to go over to the rec center.
Hopefully the fire district has made it a priority to get it painted before someone is hit in the crosswalk.
It is vitally important that the community attend the fire board meetings the second Tuesday of each month. The fire department is in what is called a special district. They answer only to the taxpayers who fund them, not to the county, not to the state, not to planning and zoning, only to us taxpayers. If they are not policed by the taxpayers, they are left to their own devices and do whatever they want, as they have just demonstrated.
Please help keep your community yours.