Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Big Talk and Small Minds

I've always maintained there is a lot that can be said for keeping your mouth shut. This story from tiny Albion, Illinois, population about 2000, has me laughing. Talk about political ineptitude! Why would an elected official think she could win a fight with people who work for free, as for example the volunteer fire department. Evidently there has been an ongoing feud between Albion City Alderwoman Karen Shupe and the Albion Volunteer Fire Department. It has become customary to slow down and blare the siren and honk the fire truck horn when it passes Shupe's home.

Say it ain' t so. That is harassment.

Damn right it's harassment and Alderwoman Shupe has filed two FOIA requests to see just who is disturbing her slumber. It's also a violation of the state code that governs the use of public noise makers and presumably Ms Shupe wants the offender brought to justice to atone for this egregious misuse of public property. Last week she asked for the records of all fire department meetings and activities since last April. Lest readers get the impression that the only time the fire department makes too much noise is when it passes the Shupe home there was another ugly incident in Shupe's ward when some of her constituents complained about the noise levels following the volleyball escort when the team qualified for state. In discussing the matter, Shupe made it a point to state local law enforcement has not addressed her complaints, even though there is code covering the use of sirens and horns. OMG! Shupe went to the fire station and says that while most members were polite a few had the colossal effrontery to suggest she mind her own business.

“I was told that I’m sticking my nose into things that are none of my business. I’m sorry, but is the fire department part of the city operations?”

Well sort of, Adlerwoman Shupe, the city owns the fire truck but no one on the city payroll has to roll out of bed at 3 AM in zero weather and rush into a burning home at considerable risk of injury or even death.

The mayor saw it Shupe's way.

“It needs to stop,” said Mayor Kevin Harper, looking at Fire Chief Kent Nale.

Well it has stopped. The fire department resigned en masse.

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