I see signs popping up about south county stating "Support our Firefighters and Par-amedics.''
The taxpayers in the Mehlville Fire Pro-tection District have been supporting them very well and will continue to do so, but they are going to have to realize that some of the perks they have enjoyed at the taxpayers' expense are really over the top — health-insurance costs for every employee and their family; pension plans funded with taxpayers' money and no contributions on the part of the employee; overtime pay for training; sick time accrued running into astronomical figures; and work schedules that leave a lot of time for secondary jobs.
Our police officers' salaries and benefits do not even come close.
I'm sure that the new Board of Directors has its hands full, trying to bring about some fiscal restraint, but that was the platform they ran on and were handily elected. I'm sure (Chairman Aaron) Hilmer and (Trea-surer Bonnie) Stegman would prefer to have totally open meetings without asking for written questions in advance, but this just leads to a lot of verbal abuse and in-timidation.
Already the firefighters' union has filed a lawsuit to halt reform in the disability requirements. I am still amazed that the old board gave a termination "benefit" of $197,000 to a former deputy chief charged with stealing morphine from medical supplies and replacing it with saline solution.
We elected Mr. Hilmer and Ms. Stegman to do what they promised and they are who we need to support.