"For your own good is a persuasive argument that will eventually make a man agree to his own destruction." - Janet Frame
Last week we reported regarding the Village's apparent rejection of the more than $1.3 million SAFER grant. This grant would have allowed the Village to rehire 6 firefighters and pay their salaries for the next 2 years. It is our belief that the only explanation for this apparent self destructive decision is Hannon's dedication to decimating the Village Fire Department regardless of the impact on public safety.
There has been much discussion regarding the "plan" to create a fire district incorporating the Village of Johnson city, the Village of Endicott and at least some additional part of Union. For reasons that can only be nefarious, the Village leaders are unwilling to inform us what they plan to do. Certainly any plan would have to incorporate some portion of Endwell since fire districts must be made up of contiguous or adjoining areas.
Currently, the Village of Johnson City provides contract services to local oil companies, a local technology company, Hilltop Retirement Home, and the Fairmount Park community. This generates revenue which offsets the cost of operating the Village fire department. Currently, the Village of Johnson City receives over $200,000 annually for providing fire protection to Fairmount Park residents.
Fire Starter has reliably learned that the Village of Johnson City is proposing that the Endwell Fire district cede a strip of land along the river bank to connect Johnson City and Endicott. In return, Johnson City will attempt to give its over $200,000 contract with Fairmount Park to the Endwell Fire District. In other words, the Village of Johnson City will give up a contract service which offsets a significant percentage of the operating budget for the fire department to create a fire district and destroy the current department. We will be giving up revenue to fulfill Hannon's vindictive dream of wrecking the fire department. And safety will be compromised. And once again, much like the joint fire and police chiefs, Johnson City will be footing the bill for other communities.
There is a reason that fire districts must be comprised of adjoining areas. This is the only way a unified fire department can provide services in a prompt and efficient manner. Although utilizing a strip of land at the river bank to connect the communities may provide a technical way around the law, it is contrary to the spirit of the law and bad for public safety. The two communities will be no more "connected" than they are today. But Hannon will have his wish. And Bertoni will be led by the nose showing himself to be Hannon's lackey. And we will all be the losers.