HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

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Naran
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HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

I beg Scott's indulgence on this one, but something rather amusing happened this evening; I thought my fellow AMG'ers might appreciate it (and my Fire Department fan club lurking out there!).

There was a public hearing this evening on the proposed West Kennebunk fire station, to discuss sending the $2M proposal to a special town meeting in November. ($650K from surplus, the rest to be bonded).

Along with the other proposed expenditures on the special town meeting warrant, the total they want to spend out of surplus would be $1,019,000, and $1.4M bonding, at least so far.

As we have done before, I stated that spending this much money out of surplus (before we know how much the new school budget bill will be), and outside the normal budget process, is at best foolhardy.

I stated (as I have before) that I support the need for a new firestation, but would prefer to see something in a steel building, for maybe $800K. I'd like to see the FD get every single amenity they need, but if it can be done cheaper, for the same quality, why not investigate that possibility?

After I finished speaking, a woman named Carolyn got up, and proceeded to warn the audience that they should listen to the "experts," who want the $2M stick built station. And furthermore, she said, the "public should be careful who else they listened to, and JUST WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE those are." (can we tell yet what's coming?). :)

She then read part of my post she had printed out from an AMG thread Scott started a while back (on a new political group in Kennebunk that organized as a result of town meeting).

Because, as she stated, I had written "boo hoo" and "firestation Taj Mahal," this evidently discredits my analytical abilities, and by gosh, just goes to PROVE what a horrible example of homo sapiens I must be!!!

Mind you, Carolyn, I am CONVINCED that the fire department, the volunteers, and their many helpers have NEVER uttered one [u]single naughty syllable or bad word[/u] about the KTA, or any of OUR members, or the work we do. NOOOOOOOOOO. Perish the thought.

Sitting around the firehouse, I'm quite sure the topic never comes up. But that if it did, well, nothing but sweetness and light would emanate from their rosebud lips.

Right, Carolyn?

Here's the scoop, folks.

#1. We, the taxpayers, pay the bills. We fund the money that pays for the firefighter stipends, the fulltime salaries, the benefits, the equipment, the utilities, and all the rest of it. Including any new firehouse. While we appreciate the essential and important work you do, that does NOT negate #2 on this list.

#2. We have a right to our opinions on how our tax dollars are being spent. If you don't like it, talk to the Founding Fathers. It's called the First Amendment, as I reminded the board's chairman (again) this evening.

#3. Questioning how our tax money is spent does not make us bad people. It's our right, and for you to suggest otherwise, and to get all huffy about it, is downright Un-American.

#4. The town may have spent $77K so far investigating this project, but that is not sufficient reason to throw good money after bad. It wouldn't be the first time the town has wasted thousands of tax dollars on various proposals over the last couple years.

Ask Barry Tibbetts when we'll see the $50K the first bus barn contractor owes us, or about the $50K the Community Center spent trying to sell us that piece of municipal overkill.

What about the failed Hallmark project? Ask Barry how much that cost the town, and the neighboring abutters who lost a gorgeous piece of reclaimed wilderness.

................................

In short, Carolyn, you can trot out all the guys in their fire shirts, and sit at meetings glaring at us all you want to, but it won't change the facts.

The voters who pay the bills will decide the issue on November 15th, and if it doesn't go your way, it's because people are fed up with being taxed into the poor house.

It isn't because the KTA are rotten, horrible people, or that we hate firefighters. That might be a convenient excuse for you to hang it on, but it is not the truth.

The truth is that after ten straight years of tax increases, especially from the school district, there is nothing left to spend "just because it would be nicer" to have a brick building instead of a steel building.

Thanks for listening, and since I'm sure Duffy and Steve (the deputy chief, and the chief) will be getting their copies of this thread, too ---- howdy to you guys too!
- Naran

[b](Disclaimer - I am speaking on this thread [i]for myself,[/i] as a private resident, not as a member of the Kennebunk Taxpayers' Association or Steering Committee. Others on that committee have the right to their own opinions, which may or may not coincide with mine).[/b]

rightwingwoman
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

You must be joking...she read at a meeting a post from AMG...WOW!!! Naran, you should no better than to question the 'experts'... :D

Naran
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

I know, shame on moi.
;) Yes, she actually pulled out a copy of the thread she'd printed out and started reading from it. It was hilarious, really. Because they can't argue the issues, they launch a personal attack. Pure class, such professionalism.However, now that they have found AMG (and I think I know EXACTLY who told them about it, don't you worry!) one can hope they stick around, and maybe learn some valuable information about state politics and economics.No matter how they got here, it might end up a good thing after all! ;)[ 10-12-2005: Message edited by: Naran ]

rightwingwoman
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

The 'experts' don't think 2 million is a little steep for a fire dept....

Steven Scharf
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

My first rule of public comment:
ALWAYS GO LAST!Although the body you are speaking to can say nasty things about your comments, other members of the public cannot. You also can respond to what they have to say. I use this effectively in planning board meeting to remind the board that they should ingnore the idiot NIMBYs.It is specally fun to see folks who have already spoken try to get back up to refute my comments only to be shut down by the chair.I even played chicken with Herb Adams once, with both of us trying to be the last to speak. He finnally got up to speak to the city council and I followed him with comments directly contradictory to his.Steven Scharf
SCSMedia@aol.com

Naran
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

Steven, whenever possible, I agree with you. However, because our board of selectmen has gotten far more oppressive about allowing the public to speak, we have to take our opportunities when we can. If we waited, chances are we would not get that opportunity, sad to say. The First Amendment means nothing in Kennebunk anymore.The present chairman is a disgrace to the position. Tonight he repeatedly shut the mike off when a member of the town budget board was trying to make a statement on which kind of election the firestation should be decided at.The budget board member was treated as if he were a common criminal, not an appointed town official, a statesmanlike gentleman of advanced years. It was beyond despicable.

Calvin
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

And of course since it "said" NARAN it just HAD to be you! I mean . really ! People just don't write un-truthes in a fictitious name. If you know somebody who has a brother who's sister-in-law saw it on the web in a chat room written by " BUBBA" it has to be true.If you can't attack the message, attack the messenger.Waterboro built a "stick" fire station. And BOY did they get STUCK!

Naran
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

Calvin, wish you'd been there, you could have "lawyered" for me! ;) How much did Waterboro spend on their station, and what's the scoop?

Calvin
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

naran PM

Calvin
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

They thought a big garage was a regular garage with dimensions multiplied by 4. It doesn't work that way. The walls moved with the wind. The ice backed up and the water ruined the ceiling.

Naran
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

That's really too bad... didn't they hire an architect or an engineer?? I wouldn't go that cheap, no way.

Calvin
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

They had a local who designs houses do it. And a local who builds houses.
A big building is different geometry. Air currents act different. Just factoring size doesn't work.
They built a new townhall addition at the same time, same designer, same contractor, SAME KIND OF ERRORS. engineer quit. Roof leaks. heating system didn't heat the cold areas. the hot areas roasted. one thermostat and that was in one corner. the heat pie was next to the cold air inlet, etc. etc, etc,
and they paid in full before errors were corrected. Guess how that worked out.

LMD
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

So, if I understand you correctly the words "BOO HOO" are now considered an indication of I.Q?It that is really true, it brings tears to my eyes.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Was there any talk of exactly WHY a steel building is so unacceptable to the KFD? Is it seriously just about esthetics with these other people and who cares about the money aspect?If I may borrow a phrase from AlAmoling and modify it just a bit:
"Boo-freaking unbelievable-Hoo"!

charlotte
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

What is so offensive to look at other options? As a consumer I do. Price can mean a savings or could mean lower quality...but why not look into it. I think welcoming input is better than shutting down ideas that could help.

Naran
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Yes, you would hope that,

Yes, you would hope that, wouldn't you, Charlotte? However, as we discovered while trying to work with the school district all those years, it's about emotion, not dollars and common sense.

They say that a steel building won't last as long, although we have tried to present the evidence that technology on steel buildings has changed radically over the last 30 years. (The rep we brought in to speak was shut down at that meeting, too, and wasn't allowed to finish his presentation).

The new steel buildings are maintenance-free, and come with great warranties. And they're very tough, structurally. As a matter of fact, Capitol Steel is now advertising that in several areas down south, their buildings were the only things left standing after Katrina.

However, the KFD has it in their minds that no other alternative to their plans is even worthy of consideration. In this case, their architect isn't necessarily the expert. Architects don't make money off steel buildings, so why would they recommend one? To me, using a steel building is just common sense. There are newer steel fire buildings all over the place now, and good ones.

The real shame here, however, is that instead of politely listening to the taxpayers they serve, they play the "you're a bad person and hate firefighters" card. The treatment received by the residents of this town by the KFD and the board of selectmen was despicable.

Gaffer
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

What kind of intimidation was used last fall with this kind of scare tactic? By state law a fire depeartment has to respond.[img]http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a136/Gaffer1/ProtectPublicSafety.jpg[/...

Gaffer
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

Don't get me wrong, I too support the fire departments but I have looked at them a different way after seeing the TV ads last fall with the Lewiston Fire Chief saying that they could not protect homes if the Tax cap passed. There also was the anti Tax Cap rally on Eastern Prom with fire people from as far away as Bangor in uniform and turn out gear. My town's fire dept has gotten two new trucks in the past 2 years, the budget asked for $100,000 for operational expenses and now they want an additional $36,000 for training stipends for the dept. Most of what they do is pump out basements, train and go to an occasional fire. They need to charge for false alarms, smoke detector alarms, Carbom monoxide alarms, Basement pumping, cat up a tree and all these other items that use this expensive equipment. Let the user pay! I can't afford to cover for someone elses carelessness.

Naran
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005Kennebunk divided on plans for surplusBy JEN FISH, Portland Press Herald WriterCopyright © 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

KENNEBUNK — A plan to use surplus funds to pay for several capital improvements received a mixed reception at a public hearing Tuesday, setting up what is sure to be a lively town meeting when voters gather on Nov. 15 to decide on the projects.[url=http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/york/051012kennebunk.shtml]Full Story[/url]

Naran
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Gaffer, I agree on the

Gaffer, I agree on the intimidation factor. The glaring and hostile comments from fire department members last night (and at the the last meeting) were a shameful thing. Or should have been. You'd think grown people would know better.

One guy in particular was being abrasively rude to the older lady sitting next to me. According to her, he only made his bullying comments to her when I was out of my seat. He kept turning around and whispering to her, making nasty comments. Then, when I came back, he'd quit doing it.

I guess he could beat up on a little old lady, but held his tongue when I was there. What a guy, huh?

Naran
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

[img]http://www.olympiabuildings.com/images/content/pub_works_01.jpg[/img]"Just a quick note to say thanks, my metal building survived hurricane Frances without a scratch, I wish the rest of my property had done as well. I believe mine was one of the first designed to meet to Palm Beach Counties tough 140 MPH wind code, great engineering, I'm impressed. I can't say enough about your product and service. I was able to erect my building entirely by myself at age 55 with no expensive tools or prior construction experience and at final inspection was complimented by the building inspector on the quality of the project!"- Alfred Garren, Boynton Beach, FL [url=http://www.olympiabuildings.com/applications/ess_pubworks.html]Olympia Steel Public Safety Buildings[/url]

Calvin
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

EXACTLY: Go find the building you like. Buy the blueprints. Buy the building from the manufacturer. YOU don't have to pay for the engineering.
Do you buy your pants of the rack at Walmart or are you some rich-bitch that has everything taylor made?

Naran
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I wish they would take your

I wish they would take your advice, Calvin... it seems like common sense goes out the window where this issue is concerned.

I hear that the meeting last night was watched by many in town, and the horrendous conduct of Tom Wellman, the board chairman was a big subject of conversation. They were shocked by his treatment of John Walker, the budget board member who tried to speak. He repeatedly shut off John's microphone, when all John was trying to do was make respectful comments as a member of the budget board, and ask a question.

It was also obvious that the surplus was known about well before the mill rate was set. Even the town's auditor stated last night that the increase in revenue was apparent as far back as May. The mill rate was set in September.

Naran
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

They needed their own bobblehead. Wish the ones we saw last night had been smiling like this guy!Thank goodness there are plenty who do... I talk to some on a regular basis who are nice guys, and very reasonable. [img]http://www.denverfirefightersmuseum.org/store/images4/Image029b.jpg[/img]

Naran
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

[b]This Bump brought to you by the Shameless Commerce Division of Rabblerousers, Inc.[/b]

Anonymous
Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

So Carolyn is lurking in our midst?
Come out.
Come out.
Where ever you are.

Naran
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I don't think we'll hear from

I don't think we'll hear from her on AMG, somehow. That would be entirely too brave. These people only pick on little old ladies; they aren't up to rational debate with a level playing field.

The other thing I've heard around town is that some people are planning to vote NO on the firestation, due to the obnoxious behavior by the FD on this issue. Their intimidation and hostility did NOT go over well with many.

We know they provide a service nobody can do without, but that does not confer an entitled status that means they should get whatever they want, without any questions or debate. And their behavior at the last two workshops as done nothing to endear them to the residents.

Anonymous
Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

I went through this kind of B.S. w/the town evironmental commission.
Our property is adjacent to marshland they wanted to increase the setback from 75 feet to 225 feet.
That would have put 4-5 acres in protected status.
During the meeting nobody on the town commission would stand up to justify their position. Heck for the first half of the meeting they wouldn't even admit they were part of it.
Finally we got it out of them that:
1. They have never been out to the properties in question
2. What they were asking for far exceeded EPA, DEP regulations
3. They never tested the property in question for pollution
4. They picked it by looking at a map
Every person on the commission was a retiree, from out of state, complaining that they didn't want the town to get over built, and they all had ocean front resisdences.
Can you imagine?
We had one community member (puke) offer to support putting my land into protected status as long as they took his property off the list.
Talk about throwing your allies under the bus.
My sympathy is with you Naran.
By the end of the meeting I felt like Shrek

[b]GET OUT OF MY SWAMP[/b]
Keep up the fight. Oh and Carolyn when you play hide and seek you have to eventually come out of you hidey hole and run for safety. :p

Naran
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

Holly, what was the outcome on the setback issue?

Anonymous
Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

They dropped it. There were to many outraged townsfolk (minus the pitchforks and torches).
When I say they dropped it I should qualify that by saying, for now. I am certain that it will be resurrected sometime in January or February.
I was so pi$$ed that by the end I was threatening to subdivide all 30 acres into 1 acre lots prior to the ordinance going into effect. That way the subdivisions would be grandfathered in.
Talk about ruffling feathers.
The worst part of the proposal was the set back was proposed to begin not where the high water mark was but where the vegetation changed from predominately wetland to other vegetation forest, fields, orchards.
How the heck would you map that out?
Oh 8 months later I'm still sputtering mad.
Because it never ends.
No wonder being vigilant leads to vigilantism. ;)[ 10-13-2005: Message edited by: H. Hunt ]

Naran
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

Well, glad to hear you beat back the Forces of Darkness, at least for now. Yes, you'd best keep a sharp eye on it.We all get our "Moment Of Municipal Awakening," one way or another. Trusting little Pollyannas, we go to town hall, hat in hand, and find out the hard way that "We the Little People" don't count for much in the grand scheme of things.There isn't an ordinance that can't be broken, changed, or overturned when somebody on High decides they want it that way. There is no real protection, except for vigilance.

Keenan
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Re: HOWDY to the Kennebunk Fire Department !!

Go get 'em Naran!!!Steel buildings are the way to go! They can make them look anyway that you want them to. If you have code that every building needs to have white clapboards then white clapboards it is.They look great and will hold up better long term than any stick building.Many of the manufacturers also get canceled orders that you can buy for almost half price and they will refigure door setups etc.. I think it is allied steel that used to send me regular faxes on buildings that were either canceled or the design changed in mid project, the price was often half.Naran you should contact the manufacturers and request to be on the fax mailing list and give the town office and fire departments fax #.

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