Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Dean Redman's brave enough to listen to the voters

Fire station, Politics

Needing a new fire station and wanting a new fire station may be two very separate things. That we need a new fire station is pretty clear to me, based on the data that have been presented, checked, and presented again. The endless squabbles that have gotten in the way pretty much boil down to:

  • Where will it be?
  • How stripped down a place can we get away with?

But now the when and if are creeping back into the discussion. Blogger Tom Gaertner, for one, is fed up with the Council dragging their feet, this time by putting off placing the question before the voters as a binding referendum. He's too polite to tell you, but I'm not: voting against were Alders Birschel, Didier, Donegan, Ewerdt, and Hanson: Minnear, Herzog, and Krill were not present. The rest voted aye.

I asked Tom whether a referendum was required. If not, solid leadership and personal bravery would let the Council do the right thing right away. That would be to build a new fire house good enough and big enough to last for at least 50 years. I don't want to think what a "do-over" in 20 years will cost if we don't do it right this time.

While I still don't know the answer to whether this question must go to referendum, Fire Chief Dean Redman sent me a note with his perspective that it should:

"I would welcome updated comments since the public input has been limited.  It is hard to know what that means.  Does the public not support the need and are just waiting to vote it down, or do they accept the need and are waiting to support it?  The real way to find out is to have it on the ballot."

This is a brave and solid bit of leadership. Whether the answer is the one Redman wants or not, he honors the public by supporting our right to speak on the issue.

Shouldn't the Council do as much?

And shouldn't we respond by doing our homework and thinking about the next generation of Tosans as well as ourselves?

Your thoughtful comments are welcome here.

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