Letter: Retain BKFPD Board of Trustees

keyboard, letter to the editor

To the Editor:

The April 4 election is important to everyone in the Bristol-Kendall Fire Protection District. Last year, a referendum passed that changes the makeup of the five-member BKFPD board of trustees from being appointed by county officials to being elected by the voters. Your vote will affect the future of the BKFPD.

The BKFPD is funded by tax dollars, and the board of trustees is responsible for using those dollars to cover the costs of buildings, trucks, equipment, training, staff, firefighters and paramedics. Many people criticized the current board after they had to remove a firefighter in 2021 for refusing to be vaccinated or tested regularly per Gov. Pritzker’s mandate. Regardless of how they felt about the mandate, the trustees made this difficult decision to protect the district’s financial stability and not be subject to fines or lengthy lawsuits, which could jeopardize the financial future of the BKFPD.

The conservative political action group that opposed this decision is now trying to run for trustee positions, using this sensitive topic as a platform to run on. The current trustees, Jeff Farren, Gary Schlapp, Marty Schwartz and Ken Johnson, are running to retain their seats on the board. The BKFPD is still growing and needs people who can make difficult decisions, not based on their politics or public pressure from a single group, but decisions that will benefit everyone in the long run.

Vote to retain a strong BKFPD. Vote March 20 through April 4. See retainBKFDtrustees.org for more information.

Patti Schobert