By JUSTON STELZER
President, Aledo Volunteer Fire Department
On March 8, 2005, at 6 a.m. I was woken to a phone call that my wife had just been in an accident near the intersection of Old Annetta Road and McDavid Terrace. I jumped up and jumped in my car and sped to the scene. Before I got there the Aledo Volunteer Fire Department had made scene and extricated her from the car and by God’s grace she was unharmed.
I lead with this tidbit because this was my first interaction with the professionalism and integrity of the Aledo Volunteer Fire Department. One month later, I applied for membership to the department and was accepted on a 120-day probation/training period. Since then I have served as fundraising chairman, secretary, recruitment and retention officer, vice president and, for the last four years, president.
As not only an almost 10-year resident of the Deer Creek and Annetta/Annetta South community, but also an eight-year active member of the Aledo Volunteer Fire Department, I have recently learned of some misleading information that has been spread throughout my neighborhood by some of their elected officials concerning the upcoming Aledo Volunteer Fire Department annexation into Emergency Services District 1 election.
Please note that before the election was ordered, we informed all of the affected mayors in a lunch meeting of the petition and information concerning our needs and what the ESD will do for us. None of these mayors attended the public hearing before the election was ordered. Below are excerpts of quotations from an email response by a local mayoral candidate to some concerned citizens about the stance he has taken on the Annexation election and my factual response to his misguided interpretations of the issue:
“This is a very complicated issue and most people are unaware of the long-term implications of an annexation into an ESD. Our lawyers have cautioned against joining one without solid contracts to protect our citizens from taxation without representation.”