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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Marshallville may receive all EWFD equipment as last entity

In a recent letter to the editor, I asked a question about what happens to the equipment that is owned by EWFD (East Wayne Fire District.) We may now have an answer to that. I encourage you to listen to the September EWFD meeting. Go to and in the menu tab, click on minutes. There you will find the September meeting at the top of the page. Click on part two and go to about the 45 minute mark.
It’s a rather interesting conversation. East Wayne’s attorney states that according to Ohio Revised Code, the last entity in the district gets ALL of the assets. If this is correct, that means ALL of the over $1.3 million worth of equipment owned by EWFD goes to Marshallville. Some of this equipment is an absolute must to operate a fire department. Now in listening to previous Village of Dalton meetings, I heard that there are some departments willing to lend needed equipment to this new department. That may work for a while but, at some point, this equipment will have to be purchased. That means your tax dollars will be spent on something that already exists in the village but will be lost. In EWFD’s meeting, it is stated that since the district is dissolving, there is no last man standing. Dalton is walking away from the district leaving Marshallville as the sole remaining member (last man standing) of the district. Since the district cannot exist with only one member, it is then forced to dissolve, leaving everything to the sole remaining member. Remember, we still do not know what will happen to the money received for the building. If that is lost, then we will be losing over $2 million worth of your tax dollars that EWFD has brought back into our community.
One thing that I keep hearing used against EWFD is that they do not have a plan and have not been financially responsible. According to some, it is so bad that EWFD can’t even replace ambulances that are over twenty years old. These claims bother me on so many levels because they are so blatantly false. The fact is, the Village of Dalton purposely blocked EWFD from replacing ambulances and it is right in their recording. I would like to first direct you to the September 2023 Sugarcreek Twp. meeting. Starting just after the fifty-two minute mark, Mayor Finley makes a statement. This statement is full of many falsehoods. I would encourage you to listen to the whole statement. I would like to focus on what he says about ambulances. At approximately the one hour and ten minute mark, Mayor Finley states that things such as ambulances have never even been addressed. Now I would like to direct you to the December 19, 2022, Village of Dalton council meeting, a little over nine months BEFORE Mayor Finley made this statement. At the beginning of this meeting, Dalton citizen representative, Don Matz, resigned from the EWFD board leaving one representative from Dalton and two from Marshallville. At just before the thirty-nine minute mark, council president Pat Sword reads a statement. Again, a statement full of falsehoods. At approximately the forty-seven minute mark, an accusation of having no plan to replace aging ambulances was made. At approximately the fifty-one minute mark, Mayor Finley points out on the agenda for the next EWFD meeting a couple of days later is approving the purchase of TWO new ambulances. Mayor Finley is concerned that because of the resignation of Don Matz, then Dalton council representative Jim Bucklew will be outvoted on these ambulances. Because of this, Dalton’s legal council advised Mr. Bucklew NOT to attend the meeting so then there would be no quorum and the vote could not take place. They purposely BLOCKED EWFD from purchasing two new ambulances and then nine months LATER Mayor Finley publicly accuses EWFD of never having a plan to replace aging ambulances. If they are so blatantly dishonest about this, what else are they being dishonest about? The dishonesty on this matter is so obvious because it’s right there in meeting minutes for all to hear.
I understand that for some, this one specific issue within the village may not seem like a big issue. You may have other things within the village that you are concerned about and that is perfectly fine. Just remember that all of the money spent on this expensive, unneeded new department will take away from other areas of the village that need attention. Before it is too late, before much needed equipment is lost and before tax dollars are lost, this idea needs to be put to rest. Is EWFD perfect? NO. Is there room for improvement? ALWAYS! The same would be true for a new department. They would get some things wrong and there would always be room for improvement. As the saying goes, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Stop wasting our hard earned tax dollars!
(Editor’s note: This letter appeared in the Oct. 11 paper and “Village of Dalton council meeting” was added to this version in the second paragraph as a clarification for the Dec. 19 meeting.)

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