Hey it’s Teriffic Tuesday again but on Winsome Wednesday. How’s everything in your neck of the woods? I was too tied up all day to craft my tome. I think it was meant to be. Today arrived with the right column.
Sup Botetourt? It snowed again oh great. The snow plow came down the road twice before I ventured out and here I sit at my Wednesday haunt Mill Mountain Coffee in Daleville. So here it is, March 6.
For two nights I listened to the continuing controversy with our volunteers and the new County EMS Director Carr Boyd. I have a story coming on that. Last night March 5, the county met with Fincastle Rescue squad.We have paid staff in rescue really except in Eagle Rock areas and Fincastle. That once proud tradition is fading. FARST the volunteer liaison hasn’t met since August of 2012. All of the problems began with the new administration and the departure of Spencer Suter who had a good head on his shoulders. Last night at the county table I found myself rooting for Fincastle Supervisor Jack Leffel who is clued into the situation.
Read the story later I write about last night. Hopefully it is the next thing I write today. It is critical that the citizens of this county realize your volunteer pool isn’t necessarily diminishing because of no volunteers. They are not being groomed, appreciated or encouraged. Just the brass tacks here, readers.
Former County Administrator Jerry Burgess said that every volunteer was worth 50K ( thousand dollars) that the county did not have to expend. Used to be volunteer training could be seen at LBHS, Fincastle Firehouse on Saturdays. The scene is ghostly quiet now. That silence has happened since last spring when two new people came into the county administration. Boyd and County Administrator Kathleen Guzi. Remember where ever extra paid personnel comes in to serve, it takes money away from other programs like the Sheriff’s Department, the school division, your local library, etc. Not saying EMS isn’t vital, because it is vital. Just pointing out a few things in limited economics.
Terry Austin from Buchanan said last night “There’s only 1 % growth in our Botetourt economy, there’s no money.” Hurting for dollars? Well then don’t encourage the demise of dedicated volunteers who actually live here and are concerned about the Botetourt communities they serve. Buchanan Fire and Rescue was a mess for many reasons and it is still causing a mess. But it doesn’t mean can the volunteers– it means find the right leadership and get back in the game. Is there a Pandora’s Box that you can’t get the evil spirits back into over there Mr. Austin? My father would say be a man and do the right thing since you love to do so for the county. You’ve told me you know what’s best for all of us on several occasions. (Refer here to my Terrific Tuesday– read it and all of the comments again.) I say back. “Do it then.” You aren’t a bad guy in this picture you should be a leader guy in a white hat.
Boyd has been nice to me and so has Guzi for the most part. No problems for me but then I am what I am so ….
The lack of returned phone calls from the administrator that you citizens bring to my attention from across the whole Botetourt area is concerning. For many of you I believe it is the reason why you are asking questions on this blog about finances, the volunteer situation and so on and so on. Yes folks on the hill in Fincastle, I get plenty of calls, emails, FB messages, stops in Kroger, at church, at the gas station– all about this situation. I think it’s time for you to get in the game, too.
I have to ask again. Who did the audit on the Buchanan Volunteer Fire Dept? I want to know if it was an independent audit or in house. That is significant!
You can’t let the fox in the hen house and expect good results.
Today a lady from Blue Ridge has posted a letter to us. All I can say that a good defense is best supported by a good offense. It’s time EMS went on the offense again in a positive way. Don’t give up–do more–solicit volunteers for your stations and treat them with respect!
I would love to see Botetourt County hold a volunteer fair again. Have another Volunteer Appreciation Day. “We really value our volunteers,” sounded right much like my oldest child Brittany years ago. Through clinched teeth she said as she gazed full of hate at her new sibling, “I just love my new baby brother.”
“The economy has changed for the worse in the last five years,” Guzi repeated last night numerous times; “We have no money,” said Austin and Boyd couldn’t bear to look up and said nothing…then logically, oh logically…sigh….
“Why would you try to run the volunteers out of town at 50K a person!! ”
Just a big head’s up: Taxpayers that’s your wallet, your schools, your sheriff’s department …
See you next week!