2007-05-15 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

'OOPS, another good man gone!'
by Terry Toole

And the git'um goes on and on and on.

Last week the county commissioners agreed to accept the resignation of a proven leader of one of our important and mandatory departments of government. This time, the reason given was money. The Emergency Management Service is/has been/ and will cost too much tax money to operate.

I/we can all agree that most, no all, departments/agencies and offices of government cost too much to operate. Some we get needed and wanted benefits from. Some we get little or no benefits from, especially the way they are operated or if we have no need for them at the time.

Not too long ago, one of the county commissioners called to tell me how sorry I was. That point is debatable, but when this commissioner started telling me how sorry our fire department and other departments were and how sorry my friends and children are, I got a bit defensive.

When I tell someone how I feel about them or about an issue, I really like to convey my feeling to his/her face. In this particular case, I was called on the telephone, so I told this person what they could do with their opinion and hung up the phone.

Now this particular person was so busy cutting me, my folks, and many others of those I love and respect, she must not have understood my reply of what to do with her opinion, and she called back to ask if I said what she thought I said.

I relayed my reply back, so even a deaf/dumb and ignorant person might understand, and I promptly hung up again.

I guess the message got across. We have not had much to say to each other lately.

I told this, of which I am not proud of myself for doing, since I got down in the gutter with this person. I have found that it is necessary at times to get a message across to some people who don't seem to understand plain English. I don't like for someone to wonder what I think about something or someone, especially if they ask.

Last week, we lost another good department head because of a board attempting to run a department that they know absolutely nothing about. This happens much too much.

Don't get me wrong! I love to save tax monies as much as anyone, but not at the expense of endangering our people's health or their very lives and the lives of our children and their future.

I was at the meetings that led to the resignation of the EMT/EMS director of Miller County. I was at the next meeting that removed him from his position, until I was asked to leave due to a closed meeting, which did not close after I left. I was also told by most of the remaining EMTs and paramedics that if they quit, they could leave the same day they resigned, and other counties around would assume their duties. I doubt that!

If this is the way our commissioners run our business, we all have a real problem. I know some commissioners who would have said this. I hope the remainder would have tried to do better than to tell a complete department to do what "we" say or hit the road, all of you. This was handled about as poorly as anything I've seen. With a little use of common sense instead of power, our Emergency Medical Service would be as stable as it has become under the leadership of the man who is gone. He is not near perfect, and most assuredly could have done better, but he had one of the best, most dependable ambulance services in this area of the state.

It is my prayer that some of that bunch doesn't need the ambulance service or the EMTs in the near future or our excellent fire department. I take that back. Both of these groups are professionals and would do their best for even those who misuse their power.

As the song of the witch said, "OOPS! Another Good Man Gone."

We have lost some of our best teachers because of poor leadership by our Board of Education and some of those they hire. Good teachers are leaving like the boat is sinking. We parents and citizens should hate to lose good teachers. What do you think that is going to do for our students now, and those in the future? How many more will we lose before it's too late, or it will take us years, if ever to recover to where we have been.

Wake up, citizens! We have elected a few poor leaders. Ask them to change their git'um tactics, or there is a need to remove some rotten politicians before they ruin the entire county.

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