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March 28, 2014
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Letter: Annexing would assure quality fire service to Sutherlin

Better training, better service

As we move forward to decide the type of fire department our community needs, I thought it necessary to make my opinion known. It’s with no malice toward the other council members who serve; we each have deeply held beliefs.

Within our current budget, I don’t think the city of Sutherlin could offer its citizens the same level and depth of services on our own. In 2010, the city couldn’t fund the fire department we had, which is why the council asked Douglas County Fire District No. 2 to contract for services.

Through all the analysis and debate of which direction to proceed, I’ve found the representatives of the fire district always forthcoming with answers, ideas and direction. In our time of need, they found a way to help us deliver the emergency services we have today.

I think it’s unfair to expect the fire district’s current residents to subsidize our service, but I don’t want to go back to single-service providers of emergency services. Having dual trained firefighters/paramedics who can respond and mitigate problems is by far the most cost effective and efficient method of delivering service.

I feel I was elected as a councilor to solve problems the city encounters. As a community, we’ve struggled with the funding of our fire department in some fashion since the 1980s. I believe one of the fundamental reasons for government is to provide safety and security to the people. We have an excellent fire and medical service, which will solve this issue once and for all.

While no one, me included, likes the idea of raising taxes or fees, it’s sometimes necessary. I believe annexing into Douglas County Fire District No. 2 is the best solution for the long-term needs of our community.

Todd McKnight


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The News-Review Updated Apr 8, 2014 03:22PM Published Mar 28, 2014 03:28PM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.