2017-03-15 / News

Lauber: Time To Get Public Involved In Fire Department Debate

Bruce Lauber, president of the German Township Trustees, said he believes it’s time for the community to get involved in the debate over the Archbold Fire Department.

Speaking at the Monday, March 13, township trustees meeting, Lauber said it’s time to find out how the people want to proceed.

Since last summer, village officials have been pursuing a goal of taking over complete control of the Archbold Fire Department, including ownership of AFD equipment presently owned by the township.

Early in the meeting, the trustees met with Donna Dettling, village administrator, to discuss a proposal put forth by Andy Brodbeck, former fire chief, at the Feb. 20 council meeting.

No progress was made on an agreement.

Fire

Skip Leupp, a trustee, asked Lauber how the trustees could “light a fire under the community” and get community members involved?

“How do we get them to take an interest?” he asked.

Lauber said he had been approached by several people who had told him, “’Don’t give in to the village. Stand your ground.’”

Randy Ruffer, a trustee, said people had come to him, including people who live in the village. They did not see a problem with the way the department is operated.

“People in town are not complaining they’re paying too much for fire service. They’re glad they’ve got it,” Ruffer said.

Ruffer said he’s proud of the work the trustees have done representing township residents, including those inside the village, “although I get the implication from village council that we don’t, that we don’t care about them, and that’s not true,” he said.

Lauber said the firefighters had been instructed not to voice their personal opinions on the fire department debate. He said that is unfair. “I totally agree,” Ruffer said.

Meeting

The trustees were asked to attend the Monday, March 20, village council meeting to further discuss the issue.

Lauber suggested seeing what comes out of that meeting; then possibly moving forward with a campaign to “fire up the village and the rural portions of German Township.”

It was suggested the trustees prepare a letter to township residents, explaining the pros and cons of the situation.

Lauber directed the other trustees to write letters, then forward them to Keith Short, township fiscal officer. Short is then to condense the letters into one.

If necessary, the trustees will hold a special meeting to approve the final draft of the letter.–David Pugh

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