As a resident of Aeneas Valley I went to my second meeting of the commissioners of Fire District 16, the first being March 10. Let it be noted that the official posting of this meeting was given on March 27 with the meeting time of 1 p.m., March 28, at Commissioner Wright’s — 24 hours later.
Initially, it seemed an unusual time and place for a public meeting since the majority of the public concerned would be at work. Once there, it became glaringly apparent that it was not intended as a real public meeting as required by law, but in fact, was masquerading as such in order to maintain the appearance of transparency.
“Let’s get this thing started,” was the opening salvo in the continued battle over the public’s desire for said transparency and the commissioner’s established pattern of secrecy.
When someone asked to have a statement clarified, the eventual vitriol unleashed by Commissioner Wright was inexcusable and is a perfect example of why Parliamentary procedure dictates that a person of reasonable temperament be chairman. The public was neither disrespectful nor disruptive. The anger of Commissioner Wright unfortunately rose to repeatedly screaming, “You are a liar,” his wife throwing everyone out of her home and the meeting being adjourned. The next meeting time and place would be “as soon as these people leave.” Spirit of unification? With this level of open hostility pervasive in the attitudes of the commissioners, is it any wonder that the once close-knit community of Aeneas Valley residents is so fractured? The fire department is sorely needed; the management is totally dysfunctional.
Fact: this event happened. It cannot be whitewashed, hidden or distorted; it will not go away. The community is divided and friendships have been broken. There are those who earnestly search for a solution and would vigorously applaud honest attempts at reconciliation by the commissioners. But the fact this event did happen, with no efforts towards restraint, convinces me that the only way to reconcile this is to initiate the recall process and present a well-rounded list of candidates for a new election.
Instead of taking our request seriously, they have been derisively referred to as the “Ten Commandments” or “Ten Demandments.”
This attitude demonstrates the lack of maturity and ethical turpitude, which raises the question of the motives and judgment of the commissioners.