To The Editor:

Once again, I would like to say “thank you” for the support and kindness our friends and supporters have shown us during the past year. I also want to say “thank you” to our members for holding themselves to the fundamental ethical principles this organization has built itself upon.

Proposition S is an attempt to secure funding for continuous operations at the current level you have come to know and expect from Wright City Fire Protection District. Frankly, we are at the critical point with our request to the community on April 2. Our request is to allow us to continue to serve in our current capacity, at our current staffing level.

The 17 cents we request is critical to maintaining those positions past the end of 2019. Quite simply, if we do not secure the funding for these positions, your service will be dramatically impacted.

Aside from the potential negative impact on public safety, we have faced negative narratives misleading the public. Our community deserves better. Shouldn’t your children and grandchildren be afforded the same level of service you currently have? I assure you, the cumulative demands placed on our budget have been met with optimal equipment and personnel-conscious, financial based decisions by our board of directors and administration.

One of those decisions was to replace a 1989 pumper. Just as school buses, police cars, and trash trucks deteriorate over time, so do fire apparatus. The decision to purchase the new truck was made using thoughtful, fact-based analysis. Was it more expensive than our last pumper purchased in 2009? Yes. With mounting uncertainty regarding our budget and deployment of human resources, the financial impact of allowing fleet vehicles and other vital equipment to go beyond their service life is predictably consequential. Therefore, we continue to purchase needed apparatus, protective gear for our responders, as well as keeping the lights on at the firehouse, and we do so with the public funding mechanisms available to us. We are committed to transparency and I ask that you peruse our website and look through the documents provided to establish a fact-based opinion on our financial decisions.

Our No. 1 goal is to continue to make sure there are enough responders to provide adequate resources for public safety. The passage of Proposition S is vital to our ability to meet our mission of serving you, educating you, and protecting our community. Someone, somewhere will be depending on us to do what we do, and we have always been there for you. Please consider being there for us.

Ron MacKnight

Wright City Fire Chief

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