Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/920129

Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 19, 2014

Brighton did turn out

By Paul Shelangoski | Nov 05, 2012

October 25, 2012

Brighton, Iowa

 

Re: Brighton – how they treat people

 

To the Editor:

In regard to Mr. Larry Turner’s letter to the editor that printed on Oct. 24, 2012, in the WEJ, I am sorry for his loss. But I feel compelled to respond to the comments (allegations) made. I feel that I have the qualifications to do so. I have been on the city council for 11 of the last 13 years. I also have been a fireman for over 31 years. I have lived in Brighton for over 56 years, and I know the “demo driver” he referred to quite well.

First and foremost, Mr. Turner’s business is not in the city of Brighton. Granted, it is close, but it is not. The city of Brighton never has and cannot contribute to a situation such as Mr. Turner’s. The city works with tax dollars and cannot contribute that way to anyone or a business. However, we have had in the past a TIF district; but again, if you’re not within the city limits, we cannot help. But I would like to point out that the city as well as the townships (taxpayers) do provide monies for the firetrucks, station, equipment, personal protective gear, etc., for the firemen. Quite a few people do take time out of their lives to get the training and use this equipment. Our fire department has almost all (90 percent plus) of the members trained to firefighter level 1 or level 2.

On the day of Mr. Turner’s fire, 24 men dropped what they were doing and responded to the call for help, along with men from Washington and Wayland fire departments, the First Responders, ambulance crew, and some I’m sure I missed seeing there. I would venture to say close to a million dollars’ worth of equipment was dispatched. Let’s not forget this was the hottest day of the summer (103-plus degrees). The community of Brighton SHOWED UP! We responded to the situation without reservations as to how, whom, where or even why. Some who have fires will give a donation; some send a thank-you; this is how we got thanked for this call, public browbeating.

Now as for the “Demo Driver” that broke his arm — yes, there was a benefit for him, put on by his family and friends, NOT the city of Brighton. The city was not involved in any way, shape or form at any time, monetary or otherwise.

And on a personal side, I took scrap metal to Mr. Turner — granted, it was not much — but never asked for any money. But the one time I did take scrap to him was when I damaged the radiator in dump truck. I needed money to help pay for a replacement radiator. I got nothing … SO I will call it my donation to the rebuild effort.

 

Paul Shelangoski

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