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Fanning can make its own decisions

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I have read the Citizen's front page story on fire department issues dated April 7, 2011. These are my personal thoughts from the article.

First, it sounds to me that someone is empire building. A fire director position with a cost of $80,000 -$125,000 a year? The county is already broke, hum? Are Chiefland and Williston becoming the "Big Brothers" of the fire departments in the county? 

Chiefland wanted Fowlers Bluff’s county fire money so they could hire more firefighters. Seems to me if Chiefland wants more personnel they should use their own funds. Fanning Springs has an excellent fire department with a very dedicated, well-trained group of personnel. Fanning Springs is a city of their own, like Bronson. Fanning Springs is also a two-county city (Levy/Gilchrist).

Seems to me if a subcommittee of the Fire Advisory Board is suggesting issues like this involving other cities, there would be an invite to the city officials to attend. Personally, I feel there should be an elected representative from each city that has a fire department, not just Chiefland.

The notices for these public meetings are posted on the county website and at the county commission offices. What happened to public notices in the newspaper? I do not look at the Levy County website that often, nor do I ride by their offices to check for meetings. I do read our local newspapers. Many of our organizations put a public notice in the newspaper. I am not sure, but does the Sunshine Law require public notices for these types of "public" meetings?

One thing that realty bothers me, It sounds like Chiefland would like to regionalize firefighting within our county and capitalize on funding for fire protection from other cities. Not all that long ago, Chiefland was asked to join the Nature Coast Regional Water Authority, to which they said, "not in our backyard."

As a citizen of Fanning Springs, I feel the same about Fanning Springs being absorbed by Chiefland.

Fanning Springs has its boundaries and service area, with excellent firefighting staff and city officials that can make their own decisions.

Robert A. Kerr

Fanning Springs