To the Editor:
On Feb. 2, Streator city manager Scot Wrighton used these pages to illogically compare Streator’s professional fire department to an all-volunteer force in the Southern Illinois city of O’Fallon.
Such false comparisons cause citizens to lose faith in their government.
If Mr. Wrighton wants to compare Streator to O’Fallon, he should include such relevant facts as these:
— On average, Streator’s firefighters respond to 180 active fires per year; O’Fallon’s volunteers respond to just over 100. That’s a 60 percent difference.
— The median property tax for a Streator homeowner is roughly $2,200. O’Fallon’s median property tax is just under $5,000.
— The city manager in O’Fallon is paid $140,888 annually. Mr. Wrighton’s salary is $129,780. But before you misconstrue the comparison, O’Fallon’s city manager’s salary is 3.5 times higher than the average per capita income in his town. In Streator, Mr. Wrighton’s salary is more than six times higher than the per capita income in Streator.
Facts matter. So let’s stick to them as we attempt to provide the best possible public safety services for the people of Streator.
Meanwhile, the firefighters who have kept their end of the public safety bargain will continue to protect the residents of Streator because they promised in their oaths to do so. Promises made should be promises kept.