Fox River Fire Board President: Disconnect Is No 'Hostile Takeover;' Voters Will Decide on Nov. 4

Fox River Fire Board President: Disconnect Is No ‘Hostile Takeover;’ Voters Will Decide on Nov. 4

  • Editor’s Note: The following is a guest essay from James Gaffney, president of the  Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District Board of Trustees.

Dear Editor,

Chief Kelly Callaghan of the Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District recently submitted a letter to the editor under the headline “Vote No to the ‘Hostile Takeover.’

The so-called “hostile takeover” is actually a reference to the resident-initiated petition to disconnect that will be decided by voters on Nov. 4. That petition seeks to disconnect territory from the Elburn District and add it to the Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District.

Contrary to the letter’s implications, the petition was not filed by the Fox River District, nor was it filed by residents of the Fox River District. Instead, the petition was initiated and filed by residents of the Elburn District (Chief Callaghan’s constituents) who seek to take advantage of the more highly rated Fox River District and its modern facilities which are far better situated to serve those residents.

The term “hostile takeover” is certainly a catchy sound bite, but it does not accurately describe the petition. The petition is, in fact, a voluntary exodus of residents who are concerned about their personal safety, and who are equally — and now even more so — concerned about their current district’s inability and unwillingness to provide (or allow) the best protection possible to the disconnection area.

Chief Callaghan hits all of the right political buzz words in his article. He talks of debt, taxes, declining revenues and fiscal responsibility. What he fails to do — what he cannot do — is connect those concepts with the actual operations of the Fox River District. Fox River is a financially healthy district with steady revenues and a conservative financial policy. Elburn’s tax rate is nearly three times that of Fox River’s. and its expenditures per capita dwarf those of Fox River’s and other comparable area districts.

This, without any identifiable advantage in actual service to its constituents, unless one includes the oft-mentioned fact that Elburn has been around for a long time.

In its actual operations, Fox River has proven itself time and time again. Our district is more highly rated by the Insurance Service Organization, and we demonstrated in court after a five-day trial that, based on the totality of both districts’ operational capabilities, we could provide equal or better benefits to the residents of the disconnection area. All of this at roughly one-third the expense.

That is not political spin or opinion. These are simply the facts.

Remember to VOTE on Nov. 4.

James Gaffney
President, Board of Trustees
Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District


Editor’s Notes

  • The deadline for Nov. 4 election-related letters or guest essays has passed. The last day to submit letters to the editor or guest essays regarding an item on the Nov. 4 ballot was noon Thursday, Oct. 30.  Please see this article for more information about opinion pieces on Kane County Connects.
  • What’s the difference between a guest essay and a letter to the editor? The short answer is: not a whole lot. For submissions to Kane County Connects’ opinion page, we’ll use the “letter to the editor” heading for letters submitted by John or Jane Q. Public, good citizens like you and me. We’ll use the “guest essay” tagline when the text is submitted to Kane County Connects from an elected or appointed official or someone who has a particular level of expertise on a given topic. Letters to the editor and guest essays can be illustrated by one of our opinions logos, a head-and-shoulder shot of the author or an image or graphic depicting the subject matter of the letter or essay.