Measure B carefully crafted solution

Reader Input
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This letter is in response to John Brassfield’s view on Measure B (“Another View,” Friday, Feb. 10). As a former Newcastle Fire District board member, I take a different view than Mr. Brassfield. First, his premise that Measure B is a blank check is wrong. The elected board is accountable for every dollar spent. Second, for years, the community has gotten clues about our perilous situation with respect to local fire service. We got these at pancake breakfasts, by reading the paper, by attending community functions and getting involved in what to do about it. Numerous community leaders stepped up to help take action. They exhaustively reviewed the facts, considered the options, and sought counsel on the best way to save our current fire and emergency medical response. This carefully crafted measure asks voters to support an increase of about $146 per property that will provide affordable debt service on a loan to build a new station, and comparative pay and modest benefits for firefighters who put their lives on the line for us. There is a plan for a new station. A suitable site has been found. A preliminary design plan determined that a station can be built within the budget. No scare tactics were developed to trick taxpayers. Instead, it’s a stubborn fact that if Measure B fails, local fire service fails. It’s a fantasy to think, in the 21st century, we will get away with pop-up tents and porta-potties to house a fire station. Without one, we are looking at longer response times no matter how quickly any surrounding station can respond. ALEX BLANCA, Newcastle