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May 1, 2016.
Please note the date of my letter, and note the date of receipt. I am writing this letter prior to the Fire Board election. My motivation for that is that I do not want people to think I wrote out of sour grapes if my husband, David Luzmoor, doesn’t win or out of gloating if he does win.
Several of the letters from the incumbent candidates had errors in them that I would like to correct. I do not know if these mistakes were made intentionally to influence the election, or just through lack of thorough research.
First of all, I think that very few of you know anything about David Luzmoor. He came from an industrial setting where his maintenance budget was equal to the cash on hand and reserves of the fire district of $12 million. That was per year and was a drop in the bucket compared to his production budget. He was in charge of a safety department where fire trucks and ambulances were bought to protect the lives and property of an isolated industrial setting. In this department, there were surface and mine rescue teams composed of employees who volunteered to take on this extra responsibility. He worked in industries where these issues were handled for more than 37 years. I could go on, but he is not a man that likes to blow his own horn and probably won’t care for me doing it either.
In response to Wade Bradfield’s comment that the editor suggested, ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ That was not suggested by the editor; that comment was in a letter to the editor from Chris Strate upholding the current way of doing things. Further, I find it interesting that the board couldn’t write a job description for Marshall. The board was working on a job description for nine months, with or without Marshall I do not know, and in the end tossed that job description and enacted one that Sherri Halandras borrowed from somewhere else and brought to the board. It was enacted on the spot. David Luzmoor has written hundreds of job descriptions. How was a man hired without the board knowing what they were actually seeking? David actually holds Wade in high regard, knowing that he has tried to do a tough job.
To Rick Dodds’s position, no one would ever take away from the fire fighters and EMS; they do a job that allows us all to live a better quality life by having their protection. Some of his information is wrong though in regard to several issues. We have only had one brush burning fire get out of control, burning less than a tenth of an acre, and I think that is an over estimate. My husband started a fire mitigation program on our own property because of the fire that Mr. Dodds seems to be attributing to us. That fire, at Miller’s and Rosier’s was actually around 2700 County Road 7, on the west side of the road. It was about 130 acres according to the newspaper. We live more than five miles north of that and on the east side of the road. That fire was started by a lightning strike that smoldered for three days; so Mother Nature started that fire, not David Luzmoor. The fire line cut by the dozer was across the road from the Rosier-Miller fire, on the Moody property. I believe the dozer was owned by Mr. Moody, and I have been told it was driven by Mr. Dodds. So, Mr. Dodds on his employer’s equipment attempted to save his employer’s property at that point in time, although the fire did not jump the road at any point that I am aware of. Not that the fire couldn’t have reached us, but where it was located it would have had to burn at opposite angle to the wind through Hefton’s, the Strawberry Patch, several others and the Villa Ranch to reach our ‘neck of the woods.’ Hopefully by then, aerial fire teams would have been called in with chemicals and water.
We were absolutely appreciative of the fire department coming to our brush fire. Fire Chief Marshall Cook came out to inspect our property in regard to what we had done for fire prevention by our invitation. David has cleared almost seven acres of underlying brush with a chainsaw, not a small undertaking, since the Rosier-Miller fire. He has burned what I believe to be in the range of 36 dump truck loads of brush and then had one relatively small event. I think the fire department responded with big guns calling it in as a three-alarm fire because of the Rosier-Miller fire; I applaud that because it showed a commitment to protecting us all. I have seen a few other fires that got out of control such as the one across the road from Kum and Go. Apparently, that one is not worthy of note because the person who set it is not running for the fire board.
Mr. Dodds seems to be giving credit to the ‘same group of people who encouraged him to join the board’ for firing David up like they did him. He really doesn’t know David Luzmoor. The fire down the road perked his interest as well as an instance when our end of the road was isolated from all emergency services while our neighbor was suffering from heart problems. Conversations with some people on the fire and EMS forces got him more interested. But he never goes into things lightly; he told all the people he talked to he would have to investigate further to see if he could be of service and what all the forces at work were. He has talked to all the board members, some at their places of business, some of the volunteers, state entities, doctors, hospital administrators and others. He put a lot of time in before he committed to running for the board. He never does anything half way.
Mr. Dodds further says that David has sent too much email, letters to the editor, etc. This is a public board, responsible to the public it serves. Rigorous investigation is the way to solve problems and understand issues. He also says David went to people’s businesses and made threatening statements; he was invited by these business owners to come there to talk. I think David’s ‘threatening’ statements could be equated to one statement; if you warn a person a tsunami is coming because you think they should prepare for it, is it a threatening statement? I personally am surprised that Marshall Cook did not sue the fire district, and I am not sure that he still won’t. I think the thing that would prevent that is the character of the man. Plus, I have heard from many of the responders that they intend to stop volunteering. That will leave this community in a real predicament. That was the ‘threatening’ warning as I see it, because I have listened to all of this.
Sherri Halandras has also insinuated that David is threatening; he is a very, very intense person, but only straight to the point with no hidden agendas. Do not ask David Luzmoor what he thinks unless you are prepared to hear the truth. The letter she refers to that was sent to the board chairman pointed out that Wade, as an EMS, was asking for special consideration on his requirements to qualify for being pension eligible. It begs the question if a person should be able to vote on his own pension or does that represent a conflict of interest? Also, if a person in power should be given special consideration that is handed out in a disparate manner?
I think all of the comments were meant to discredit a challenger and are not relevant to the election.
Editor’s note: Mrs. Luzmoor’s letter was received at the Herald Times office midday Monday, May 2.