South Callaway Fire Board asks voters for two more members

Voters in southern Callaway County will be asked to help bolster the South Callaway Fire Protection District board today.

The district will have a question on the ballot asking voters to increase its board from three members to five.

Current board member John Farley said the board decided it was time to increase to improve its ability to serve the county and offer aging volunteer firefighters a way to remain involved.

“It used to be that we couldn’t get anyone to volunteer to be on the board,” Farley said. “Now … some of the previous members are just too old to play an active role as an firefighter or first responder and they’ve expressed an interest in being a board member. If you increase it from three to five people, then that’s going to relieve some of the obligations of the other three, there won’t be so much running around for the three people.”

Board members are volunteer positions, so an increase in the board size will have no affect on taxes.

A jump to five board members would also make it easier for the board to maintain a quorum to meet, and provide better board representation throughout its coverage area, Farley said. The South Callaway Fire Protection District is based in Mokane, but also covers the Portland, Reform, Steedman and Tebbetts areas.

“We try to keep it where the district is well-represented,” Farley said. “If you get two more board members on there that’s going to involve a lot more people who will come in contact with those people.

“There’s very little public participation in the board meetings because everyone is so busy anymore. Through other public events — ball games, church, other public get-togethers — you’ve got two more people out there who can represent and answer questions about the fire district.”

Farley said there are volunteer firefighters who have expressed interest in filling the extra positions if created, and that he would meet with an attorney to see if they would need to be appointed or elected on a later ballot if this measure is passed.

In addition to Farley, the South Callaway Fire Protection District board is made up of Mike Pate and George Lord.

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