The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Dear Editor,

Well.... What can a person do in 10 months time? Think about it a little bit, 10 months. Seems like a fairly long time to me.

Because I'm a volunteer firefighter I immediately thought that it only take 6 months to go through the EMT course, or around 9 months to complete Firefighter 2 class. For veterans out there, a deployment could be around 9 months.

And for mothers, obviously you know good and well how long it takes to grow another human being in your womb.

Some of you may wonder where I'm going with this.... well have you ever wondered what a small town mayor can do in 10 months? Especially, if he has half of the 6 person city council eating out of the palm of his hand.

To start with he can go to the person who does the water billing and change the billed amount for an apartment building that he owns. This happened a full 6 months before the council officially changed the ordinance. He now owes back water bills, which totals about $800.

He can fire one water employee on bogus charges of the employee confronting people that he didn't, or maybe for not getting a Class A water license that he was in the process of getting.

The mayor can then also tell the other city employees not to help the lone water employee, causing people to get larger water bill because the meters were not read in time. He can also badger the lone water employee on a regular basis. He asked Tim if he had put in his two weeks notice on one occasion and on multiple occasions, he refused to get Tim help when he asked.

And now, much to NO ONES surprise, the lone water employee has put in his two week notice in order to take other employment at what I heard was an out-of-town business.

So, in less than two weeks there will be no one qualified to run the two water plants in town..."Thanks Mayor!"

As I said before, being a firefighter I also knew that this city employee was also an EMT on the local ambulance service.

Now in no way, shape, or form, am I saying that a person should keep his or her personal job because they are a good volunteer EMT that takes a lot of day shift hours.

But, let's wrap our minds around this. That only leaves about 2 maybe 3 people who work in town during the day that would be available to take the shifts he once took, and who I might add are already taking the other day shifts.

Without those shifts being filled the ambulance would be out of service, and only firefighter first responders would take the call, if any of them were available.

So, be prepared that there may come a time when there is a medical emergency in town and instead of the patient being assessed, loaded in an ambulance and rushed to meet up with out of town paramedics...only us firefighters will respond. We will treat you to the best of our abilities of course, but this will ultimately delay the far superior care of a paramedic, or EMT, by several minutes..."Thanks Mayor!"

Now back to the water. I hate to be the devils advocate and keep bringing up the worst case scenarios but what do you think would happen if there was a structure fire in town?

That 2000 gallon tanker that the department just bought would hook up to the hydrant under the tower, you know the one that used to fill an empty tanker in less than a minute, well I would imagine you could probably bump that up to 20 minutes now.

This means that when it used to take us two minutes to get back to the fire, it will now take us 10 times that. And, if anyone has seen a fire they know that it doesn't even take a few minutes for it to get out of hand:"Thanks Mayor!"

In closing I would like to say how I appreciate Tim Graves! For volunteering his services to the La Harpe Ambulance Service, for keeping that water tower full on all of the fire calls that I've been on, and for working all those late nights fixing water main breaks in the dead of winter. Your services will be truly missed in this town.

I know they won't be missed by a mayor, or a certain three alderman, but I very confident that they his services will be missed by the other 1,200 or so residents of this town.

And every person I have talked to about this issue has said, "I don't blame him one bit!" I want to wish Tim Graves good luck in his future endeavors!

Bart Thompson