To the editor:
In response to Ms. Miller’s letter to the editor in the July 19 Brown County Democrat, I don’t feel she had correct information. I have heard both sides of the story and there is factual information to back up what I am saying.
I agree that the trustee’s/advisory board’s job is to be responsible for our taxpayer money and that our taxpayer money is spent wisely and appropriately. And then she goes on to say that the trustee is not to contract with a fire department? Well, I beg to differ.
That is the biggest job of the trustee, to contract with a local fire department that is legally acknowledged, which Van Buren Volunteer Fire Department is, and you can go to the Indiana State Board of Accounts website to check.
About the responsibilities to spend our tax money wisely and appropriately, does she think spending over $60,000 plus for legal fees is wise and appropriate? Or not paying the department at all, leaving this township in a health and safety issue?
Again, you can go to gateway.ifionline.org to see exactly what the trustee has spent our tax money on. So in my opinion, I don’t feel that the money that has been spent over the last couple of years has been wise or responsible.
About the ISO ratings, Brown County as a whole has never been rated a 5. We are at best a 9 and that is if you live closer to a fire department. If not, the rating is a 10 and it is because of lack of water sources in our rural area.
Luckily, most of the insurance companies don’t even go by ISO standards anymore because they have not been updated for 20 to 30 years. So, if you call your insurance company, they will most likely tell you your policy isn’t based on ISO ratings, but distance from your local fire department.
Volunteer fire departments struggle with staff; everyone knows that volunteers in these positions are like a roller coaster. VBVFD is no different than any other department, and remember, they are volunteers. Instead of complaining that Chief John Ward is the only one to make calls during the day, be happy he is here and ready to respond instead of having to wait for a department to respond that will take 20 minutes or longer.
I suggest you call all of the Brown County fire departments and ask them how many firefighters they have during the day. In some cases you will find there isn’t anyone that can respond because they are working at their paid jobs. That is why we have in place, and rely on, mutual aid.
As far as the comment about me being on the fire department, how does she know that I am not? I believe in doing research on an elected official and how my money is spent before I write things that are not true.
H. Michael Breedlove, Van Buren Township
Send letters to email@example.com by noon Thursday before the date of intended publication (noon Wednesday on holiday weeks). Letters are the opinions of the writer. Letters must be signed by the author and include the writer’s town of residence and a contact number in case of questions. Only one letter every two weeks, per writer, to allow for diversity of voices in the opinions section. Please be considerate of sharing space with other letter-writers and keep your comments concise and to the point. Avoid name-calling, accusations of criminal activity and second- and third-hand statements of “fact.”