Letters to the Editor

Letter: Old, outdated practice

To the Editor:

Why are fire protection district boards not elected, instead of being appointed? And the only member who does the appointments is the Kendall County Board chairman. This is one of those old and outdated practices that has never changed.

These boards are in control of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money with no accountability in the form of removal in terms of elections. And many have sat on these boards for 20 years plus. In the case of Bristol Kendall with the recent firing of a firefighter who refuses to get a COVID shot and be tested, the county board president admitted we can’t do anything about this issue. But he appoints them. Taxpayers have no say whatsoever.

Here is another example that this non-elected board has done. For years the Bristol Kendall employees have had a 401K retirement program and benefits, until recently the board has done what Oswego did years ago in 2008 and converted them into the taxpayer funded pension. Which will cost the taxpayers millions in the future. In 2008 the pension cost for Oswego taxpayers was $30,731; in the year 2020 it was $1.7 million. So, Bristol Kendall taxpayers, it’s coming, watch and see.

I also have another question about these non-elected boards. Now keep in mind not all fire district boards are appointed, some are elected. Why are we being charged for fire and ambulance fees from these taxing bodies that we fund with our tax dollars. Last year the Oswego Fire District generated an extra $1.6 million in revenue charging taxpayers for their services. Services we pay for with our tax dollars. Keep in mind that they are second largest taxing body after our school district. So, what’s next? Does the employee who plows the snow stop at your door and give you a bill? Or does your child’s teachersend you a bill for teaching our children? Charge the non-resident, not the residents who pay your tax bill. This should be illegal.

Pat Stiles