Letters to the Editor

Mayoral candidate speaks out against purchase of $600,000 fire engine

Three of the Town Council members passed a resolution for $600,000 for a new specialty fire engine (Thursday). They used the emergency funds that the town treasurer has saved for many years for emergencies like a break in the water transmission line or sewer line or some other catastrophic failure of the town infrastructure. And they did it by sneaking it by us. They even caught the treasurer off guard. Council member Noel Monin was the only one to vote against it.

I showed up at 5:35 as they were trying to rush it through and asked if the public was going to be allowed to speak. I was told NO. This was not the time for the public to speak although the public was allowed to speak on the next agenda item.

When I was allowed to speak, at the very end of the meeting, it was all over and the fire engine issue decided. The so-called reason for this quick shuffle was they needed to get this done before Sept. 26 or the new engine would have to come up to the new emission standards. However, unless town already owns the chassis, the town must still comply with the new standards.

It was also said they needed this engine for the safety of the firefighters. It’s not a high-priced engine that keeps our

firefighters safe – it’s good training, good officers, and a good incident command.

We are told we need a 1,500 gallon-per-minute pump when we only have two hydrants in the whole town that will flow that much water.

There are a lot of engines available for half what the council has approved. Keep in mind the town has already purchased a specialty engine for this town. (Engine 7).

Do the town firefighters and this community need a new or good used engine? Absolutely! But not at this price. This was politics as usual.

Oh, they will be writing back and trying to explain this in complex language that doesn't mean a thing. Take the time to check it out on your own. Find out when the resolution was written. Find out why the treasurer was not informed and not allowed to do her elected job. Dig into the public records and see how they spent YOUR money.

It’s important that the council and mayor know the facts about ANY issue that directly affects those that live here. The council and the mayor must be responsible not only to themselves but to the people of Friday Harbor and to make decisions of this magnitude fairly, responsibly and accurately.

They didn’t in this case.

Robert Low
Friday Harbor

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