PRO FIREFIGHTERS • PRO CONCORD • PRO TAXPAYERS
Concord Citizens Form Advisory Panel to Work With Township
Officials in Revising its Fire Station Plans and Funding Options
Panel and team of subject matter experts seek to provide informed
input and community concerns about plans going forward
CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OHIO (December 12, 2019) – Affordable Concord Taxes (ACT) today announced it has formed an advisory panel of Concord residents. The intent is to work collaboratively with the Concord Township officials to ensure the redesign and funding options of its plans to build two new fire stations is done in a more appropriate and affordable way – and that doesn’t require a tax increase to fund the buildings over decades.
This step is being taken following the decisive defeat of the Issue 1 bond levy in last month’s general election. More than 65 percent of Concord voters rejected the Township’s proposal and are looking for a more collaborative and transparent process to ensure the community’s emergency response teams receive the improved facilities they need and deserve with no further delay.
“We have already broached the subject of the advisory panel with the Township and they asked that we wait until the new year when the full docket of Trustees is in place, which makes perfect sense,” said Robert Sanderson, treasurer of ACT and former president of Mentor Lumber & Supply Co.
“Our desire to work with the Township was also addressed in a News-Herald article after the election and we posted similar information on our website weeks ago,” he added.
Sanderson explained the advisory panel is not intended to “take over” the process or add any bureaucracy, and is based on traditional and long-established Community Advisory Panels, or CAPs, that have been successfully utilized for decades.
Specifically, ACT is forming an advisory panel of Concord residents, plus a team of subject matter experts that the panel, and Township, can tap into for added perspective. The group has already secured the commitment of several individuals experienced in the areas of emergency response, architecture, commercial construction and finance. A separate announcement will be made with the individuals’ names once the full team is on board.
In the meantime, the panel has also been meeting with other knowledgeable individuals, including both active and retired firefighters, to get more information on the details included in the plans the Trustees put forth leading up to the election and fresh ideas that might be considered going forward.
“We fully acknowledge this group doesn’t officially represent all of the residents of Concord, but we spoke and communicated with hundreds of residents during our campaign to defeat Issue 1,” Sanderson said. “We think people will at least be assured that we have their best interests in mind when helping to formulate an outcome that affects their everyday lives.
“Our common interest has been, and will continue to be, to provide our firefighters and EMS professionals with the best possible resources for the specific needs of Concord Township,” Sanderson added. “We look forward to the Township coming back to the residents with a more realistic and fiscally responsible plan that won’t raise taxes and with more visibility into their budget.
“Concord’s residents did not vote down our firefighters,” Sanderson stressed. “They simply rejected an imprudent plan and funding approach – all of which can be ironed out in a collaborative manner.”