Sunday, June 30, 2013
Butch Meriwether opines on three subjects dear to him


Butch Meriwether
Butch's Brew

I'm going to take a page out of KDM Editor Rich Thurlow's journalistic playbook and tackle a few subjects in one commentary instead of singling out one specific subject and writing about it.

Here are the three subjects I've been or am involved in or have written about that I consider dear to my heart - Golden Valley Fire District, Kingman Air & Auto Show, and illegal dumping.

Golden Valley Fire District

I've noticed some people have made certain comments on the various blogs and posted comments at the end of news articles about Golden Valley Fire District (GVFD) and have wondered how they can give a pay raises to the firefighters when Lake Mohave Ranchos Fire District (LMRFD) failed.

I hope people are not attempting blame GVFD for operating in the black and LMRFD careening into the red. It isn't GVFD's fault for the failure of LMRFD and that the county had to step in and assigned an administrator to run the day-to-day operations after the entire LMFRD board resigned.

First off, LMRFD is an entirely different fire district and part of their failing was caused by mismanagement of revenues and way too many out-of-district calls they responded to. You just can't spend a $1,000 when you only take in $500. That math and formula just doesn't equate. I have to admit that there are many businesses I have known that adhere to the aforementioned business practices and that's why they are no longer in business.

It is obvious GFVD manages their revenues generated from property taxes better than LMFFD board and their fire chief did.

As for GVFD, I believe the five-member elected governing board and Fire Chief Thomas O'Donohue do an outstanding job of being good stewards of the district's revenues. If I'm not mistaken, the firefighters hadn't received a cost of living raise in more than two years. I believe that if the funds are available, then the firefighters and support staff deserve pay raises.

Since GVFD had available revenues, why not give pay raises to the firefighters and support staff who works every day providing us with emergency medical service (EMS) and fire protection. The entire board and the fire chief is, in my words, a very visionary group who have gone outside of the GVFD boundaries by signing up businesses and the prison up for EMS and fire protection. All I can say is I'm happy that I reside within the boundaries of GVFD.

As for edification for the blogger who recently brought up the "new" fire station that appeared in an article on the KDM website, they are only considering moving the administration building to the Public Safety Training Center on Colorado and building a couple of bedrooms for the firefighters to sleep there and also possibly maintain an apparatus there. This will only occur if the old station and administrative offices are sold. It will cover areas not currently within five miles of an existing fire station within the district. That way, there will be a fire station if needed. I don't even think they have planned on staffing it at this time. As for the old Station #11 and the current administrative offices, an appraisal is currently being done and then if the board decides to sell it, there will a lot more money in the district's contingency coffers. Hey it sounds like a win-win situation for the GVFD and the residents who reside within the district.

Kingman Air & Auto Show

I've heard the rumblings about large salaries for the workers of the air and auto show and that is just that - unfounded vicious rumors.

First off, none of the people who are part of the air and auto show, such as Andrew Raynor, in addition to all of the other volunteers and I do not get paid one dime for our efforts to have an air and auto show. We do everything because of our desire to give back to the community.

The entire air and auto show is a non-profit event and we donate all of our time, and sometimes our own funds, to ensure the show is held.

Many people who attended the 2012 air and auto show complained after last year's show because the military was supposed to be there, but at the last minute, they cancelled.

We publicized the military attending and it isn't our fault they decided at the last minute to cancel their participation. They were supposed to provide a couple of F16s for flyovers as they did in 2011 and the C17 transport for a static display.

One reason for cancelling this year is due to last year's show hardly made enough money to pay all for the expenses. Remember when a civilian pilot brings his aircraft to the show, the air and auto show has to pay for his fuel, room and board, and meals. That in itself is a major cost. There was a car show last year and as for the drag racing not being conducted for 2012, you can blame that decision on the FAA for them saying the drags could not be held.

Instead of criticizing Andrew Raynor and the others who donated their time to put on the show, maybe you should take the time to say thanks for all of the volunteer hours and efforts to bring a quality event to the Kingman area.

Don't turn Mohave County into a dump

It's that time of the year again - we are experiencing great weather and our scenic mountains and the beautiful desert areas in Mohave County are just asking to be explored and, of course, those fishing spots are waiting for the avid anglers.

As you head out into the untamed areas of mostly uninhabited portions of Mohave County, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see there are people who have no respect for our public lands and/or private property.

It's paradoxical that even though we reside in a very picturesque area, some people and that includes residents, treat Mohave County lands as their personal dumping ground.

Proof of this can be seen daily while driving the highways, the dirt roads that stretch throughout our county, on the public lands managed by Bureau of Land Management, Arizona State Trust Lands and even in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area (a U.S. National Park).

Fast food containers, baby diapers, old tires, the paper cup that held yesterday's latte, beer and soda cans, water bottles and other trash are haphazardly tossed along the sides of roads and vacant lots.

Drinking beer in vehicles and then tossing out the empties is a major problem within the county as evidenced by the number of bottles and cans thrown along our streets, roads and highways. Not only is it pollution, it is very much illegal to drink and drive!

No, I'm not saying that all trash alongside roadways and out in the uninhabited areas of the county is deposited only by residents. Some visitors traveling through our area toss stuff out of car windows instead of using an in-vehicle litter bag or waiting to place their trash in containers at gas stations or other appropriate receptacles. Litterbugs whether a resident or visitor, are extremely lazy people and really don't care about our environment. I personally wonder what their yards look like. Do they walk outside their front doors and dump their trash into the yard, or do they take the time and effort to put their trash into garbage cans?

There are a select few residents of our county who have even shown a total disregard to our picturesque areas by discarding mattresses, couches, household appliances and abandoned vehicles. You can't blame that on visitors and tourists. However, I've noticed that many of the old abandoned vehicles are rapidly disappearing from the Mohave County outback because of the value of scrap metal.

We, the residents of Mohave County, need to take that extra effort to keep our area beautiful. Take pride in what we have. Nobody wants to vacation or live in a dump!

Hiding Behind the "Veil of Secrecy"

I love how some people choose to hide behind a moniker or a veil of secrecy when posting comments, and then slam someone for their views, but they don't have the huevos to include their real name when posting the comment.

Yes there are some who probably don't want to use their real name and I also understand the publisher saying it's ok to use a moniker. The publisher is the boss and makes the rules. Maybe those individuals who hide behind the veil of secrecy are afraid that their neighbors will be on their butts for their position in regard to an article or for stirring the pot just to cause controversy.
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