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home : opinions : letters April 29, 2016

11/6/2012 1:03:00 PM
Letter: A fire district with potential


This letter is a response to an article written on Oct. 9, by Jerry Brown of the Clarkdale Fire District. Mr. Brown is a board member of a young district with a huge potential for growth and continued excellent service.

Unfortunately, Mr. Brown chooses to attack a Board member and ignore the real issues pending.

A Fire Board member with experience in the fire service is beneficial for decision making.

An effective fiscally responsible Board Member should be expected to pursue growth and development and not settle for the status quo.

The safety of a community is an ever evolving process, a fire board should take progressive action to prevent tragedy, not react to it. Tragedy should never be the catalyst for improvement.

The need for growth is now. The newest engine at Clarkdale is over 20 years old and has an open cab in the back. Parade trucks have open cabs in the back.

The current station, built in 1970, does not belong to the fire district, but to the Town of Clarkdale who has stated they would eventually like to reoccupy.

This building was not built for people to live in and has no backup generator in case the fire station needs to be used as an emergency operations center.

The property that the board purchased and paid for needs to be developed.

According to Mr. Brown the capital projects line item in their budget has half a million dollars in it, growth is possible and can be pursued in a responsible manner.

A fire board member will be called on to make tough decisions in tough financial times.

All Board Members should be willing to make those decisions and have the vision to pursue positive change for the district.

Questioning other Board Member’s integrity openly is slanderous and unproductive. Mr. Browns focus should stay on course of success for the Clarkdale Fire District and not his own personal agenda.

The districts success benefits the community, as well as the employees’ life and safety.

Harmony Haney

Camp Verde

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012
Article comment by: Bravo Clarkdale

An emergency center in Clarkdale? The school, college, men's lounge, the Yavapai-Apache nation? How often is this needed? Priority over a new fire truck?
Clarkdale has money within their tax cap to function and grow. According to Yavapai County, Montezuma Fire Department and Verde Valley Fire have the highest tax rates of any fire department in the Verde Valley. In order to preserve jobs, Montezuma taxpayers just passed an override making their tax rate potentially the HIGHEST in the state for any fire department. A recent Camp Verde Bugle article quotes their business manager, Carla Dykhuis 'Honestly though, I can't imagine why we wouldn't take the whole 5 percent the first year'. That logic scares me, 'take it' because its there. This additional tax will be in place for five years and will be in addition to any adjustments made to the normal tax cap.
Verde Valley fire department has the next highest tax rate in the valley and fire chief Hazime is also looking for more money to cover their costs. Override? Merge and use Clarkdale's taxpayers to fund their expenditures? The bigger the entity the harder it is to watch and control those dollars, our money.
Perhaps a national fire department is the way to go. Make it another branch of the military. Fund it from the federal budget. Unlikely and impractical. Perhaps that is why there are separate states, communities and separate services. They all work together but remain separate entities. To best serve what the people in an area want. Like Camp Verde is not the same as Clarkdale. Cornville is not like Cottonwood. Prescott is not like Prescott Valley. Each is different and that is okay.
Thank you Clarkdale Fire Department and firefighters.

Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012
Article comment by: Bravo Clarkdale Fire Department

Thank you Mrs. Haney for your insight on Clarkdale Fire Department. As your husband works at Verde Valley fire district with Mr. Murphy I am confident your concerns are accurate. I also appreciated Mr. Brown's letter and found his comments to be accurate as he represents the people of Clarkdale on that board.
Saving, planning and stretching our dollars, anytime, not just in a bad economy is very important and appreciated. In the past few years Clarkdale has doubled their staffing to keep up with the increased fire, medical and special duty calls. They have purchased new pickups to drive around and go to forest fires.
Is the 20 year old engine broke? Fire pump worn out? If it is not safe why do they drive it all the time instead of one of the smaller, newer ones? How many miles and fires has it gone to? Maybe they could save the money and put the firefighters in the front of the truck. Except for parades.
The station is owned by Clarkdale, the very same people that the fire district serves. They have bought property to build a new building when the time is right, like Camp Verde. A half a million dollars in savings is a nice nest egg to develop that property and build a station, or buy a fire truck when the time is right. Save a little more. Plan for it, donít wait for a tragedy, but plan and prepare for it.
Keep it up Clarkdale Fire, you are doing a great job!!!

Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Why are Fireman so set on being Union members?It must be the benefits,pay,brotherhood and the standards set.
In one breath their Hero's in fire season,the
demons in the fall.You get what you pay for
or you get what you get.Some places you don't
cut and run.
Walk a mile in their boots during wild fires.

Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Article comment by: Spoken Like a True Ally of the Local Fire Unions!

Interesting that we'd get someone so outraged about this issue from over in Camp Verde. Does Ms. Haney have a stake in what happens in the Clarkdale Fire District? My bet is she is highly aligned somehow with the many members of Fire Unions in the Verde Valley who are pushing for the merger of all the fire districts into one.

Thankfully, the citizens of the Clarkdale Fire District know better. They are represented by a well-rounded Fire District Board. They aren't lacking perspective from those in the fire service ... their Chairman is a retired firefighter with a distinguished career ... but alas, perhaps he doesn't share the union views, so those like Ms. Haney think he should be ousted! In fact, there is also another Fire Service professional on the Board as well. Do they all need to be in the fire service?! I think not!

Congratulations to Bill Snyder and Jim Elmer for retaining their seats on this Board. They've been valuable representatives for the district, and deserved re-election!

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