Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`Politics Needs to Be Kept Out' of a Unified Fire Service Plan

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`Politics Needs to Be Kept Out' of a Unified Fire Service Plan

Article excerpt

Implementing a unified fire service plan in St. Johns County

will be expensive and complicated, but more important, it may

depend on the will of a newly elected County Commission.

In adopting a consultant's plan to combine the county's 16

volunteer stations and St. Augustine into a single service,

departing commissioners in their last meeting last week urged

the new board to continue the work.

"Politics needs to be kept out of this," said Commissioner

Allan Roberts. "In many cases, the best way may be the least

popular action so I caution the ones left and the ones coming."

The plan, which calls for eight new fire stations by 2005,

depends on its funding in part from a new utility tax.

That tax has been unpopular among winning commission candidates

who took office yesterday.

During the election, winning candidates Marc Jacalone, David

Bruner, James Bryant and Pal Howell said the utility fee was

unnecessary. …

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