"seek and destroy agenda" driven by County Board Chairman
Voters sent a message loud and clear Tuesday. The state of Illinois and the country ought to listen.
Several emergency responders in Iroquois County question whether that same message needs to resonate with the County Board ?
Onlookers, including county employees and county employers, elected officials, the judicial system, and especially, fire and emergency responders say 'too much petty interference, and "agenda-driving bullying"...has poisoned county government operations and messed up the spirit of cooperation and working together. Some select county board members have already paid the price. And, fire personnel and other emergency responders are turning to the public to help send a message to elected county board members that "they're out of line."
There's perhaps, no other organized agency in the county that knows what mutual aid is all about than the fire departments. And a signed-letter from all Iroquois County fire chiefs to county board members shows unity....they want the 12-member 9-1-1 Board and the 9-1-1 Coordinator left alone.
The letter addressed to the Iroquois County Board has the full support of the fire chiefs. It clearly tells county board members 'they are being misinformed about 9-1-1 operations, driven by the loaded-propaganda agenda of County Board Chairman Rod Copas.
"Most of us aren't too happy with this push to reduce the size of the 9-1-1 board. We have a 12 member board for a reason," Watseka Fire Chief Dave Mayotte tells WGFA News. "Everyone has a certain expertise with input to offer."
A mere $18-hundred a year to conduct business meetings is nothing, Mayotte says, and reducing membership to six will just dilute the process and eliminate important input from people who understand the operation. Mayotte said six less experts will hurt emergency operations and communications in the county.
Martinton Fire Chief Jim Seabert said it's a step backwards after 35 plus years of building expertise with people who understand emergency communications.
Seabert also laughs and questions where the county board members thinks it's their job to tell a professional organization with an elected board in place to govern it, how to do the job.
Seabert, Mayotte, and other fire chiefs united in the effort to wake up the county board members, also question why the county board members think they have any business interfering with fire, police, and 9-1-1 communication business
Emergency responders already have their own governing board. Elected fire trustees or municipal government direct their own people. Law enforcement has a governing board. Ambulance personnel have protocol thru hospitals and the medical boards. 9-1-1 has trained, knowledgeable professionals with rules in place and governed by the Illinois Commerce Commission..
But in Iroquois County, it seems apparent that the County Board has all the know-how.
Chief Mayotte and Chief Seabert say the letter is asking for open communication.
"The county board members need to hear from the public that this election told the story too; they need to know this isn't right. It's not a cost-cutting measure. There's some other motivating factor involved," Mayotte insists is very obvious.
The fire chiefs letter also supports 9-1-1 Coordinator Nita Dubble, who Mayotte said "has been so instrumental in keeping equipment upgraded and emergency personnel in tune to what's always going on in the emergency communication sector.
Mayotte said Iroquois County dispatchers are among the best. Vital communication and trained dispatchers is a must, he said.
Mayotte is also a professional firefighter in the Chicago suburbs, serves as fire trainer and is an officer in MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System).