firefightersIn the Dec. 2 Sun Times article covering the Municipality of Meaford’s deferral of the sale of their 25% equity interest in the Intertownship Fire Department, no reference was made to the primary reason why 6 Council members voted in favour of taking more time to ensure that the interests of those most impacted were being considered.

Two concerned taxpayers presented a deputation to Council on Monday which included a petition supported by 449 residents of the former Sydenham Township [who originally owned the equity prior to amalgamation]. All the names were gathered in less than 10 days and during pandemic challenges!

The petition was created after a very brief page of information was mailed to 1700 Sydenham area households in the first week of November. It announced a public open house to be held 2 weeks later, with Council approving 2 weeks from then and the decision to take effect January 1, 2021! Citizens were not supporting nor opposing the proposal; they simply asked for more time to fully understand the long term implications and alternatives. The petition was clear in asking Council to defer their decision on the sale of it’s equity in ITFD to at least April 30th of 2021 or a later date of Council’s choosing. It was suggested that in the interim, a small working group could be formed, comprised of Council members, staff, knowledgeable firefighting and concerned taxpayers to examine the facts, share a summary to the community and then let the community decide about the sale.

Donna Mitchell