Opinion: Fire move risky but needed

If you’re going to make an omlette, you’re going to have to break a few eggs.

And if you want to preserve a high-quality and ultra economically friendly volunteer fire department, a merger is likely in your future.

Grimsby and Lincoln saw the writing on the wall and wheels are in motion to implement a shared fired protection service for the two municipalities.

This could be a very good thing or…let’s just say it could go south – mainly for Town of Lincoln – unless they can assert control.

Nobody would ever wish the administrative issues and drama long experienced with Town of Grimsby’s regime on any other community, in particular one of its neighbours.

The governance model has three members of council from each town on it. Who Grimsby council chooses as its representatives on this joint advisory committee will go a long way to telling how this goes.

If the Grimsby 5 insist on plugging in three of their brethren, it will be uphill all the way. If none of the five are on there, at least representatives will be able to listen, absorb a discussion and add to it in a constructive manner.

It has been discussed widely for several months that Lincoln Chief Greg Hudson will be named fire chief post of the new configuration. That’s great!

Greg is a pro’s pro, highly respected, knowledgeable and shoots straight. All characteristics this new organization will need to draw on to succeed. Best of luck to you, sincerely, on the task ahead, Greg. You deserve the shot and will do a stellar job for Grimsby and Lincoln.

There are some flies in the ointment such as cost adjustments for remuneration to firefighters, for example, when they answer a false alarm. These are things that will get worked out in due time, but that example is still something to which attention should be paid.

The fire department experiment is important for the future. For that reason it is too bad this process could not have been held off until after the 2022 election. Every time Grimsby wades into the waters of a major decision it is cringe-worthy.

Residents have no idea what kind of report will pop up or what direction the G5 will take it. You can have experts and lawyers tell them something and they will accept it as gospel if they like what they hear, but they can also throw it right back in the presenter’s face, essentially saying, “Come back when you have something to say we can agree with” – just as they did last week to Integrity Commissioner Michael Maynard.

No doubt Lincoln officials realize this and will go into the fray with helmets securely fastened.

The stakes are too high for silly games, but Grimsby residents have seen other high level matters disintegrate into piles of mush, so cross your fingers and let’s hope for the best. Sad, but that is today’s reality.

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I’ve had a lot of people ask, “Where’s the photo of Teddy (Jaskula) in your Habs jersey?”

This, if you read this space regularly, would be the still rather astounding result from the Montreal Canadiens (God’s team) unlikely and historic comeback versus the (now golfing) Toronto Maple Leafs.

Teddy, of course co-owner of Teddy’s Sports Bar, and I had a gentleman’s bet on the series – if the Leafs won, I would don a blue and white cap for my column photo. If the Habs won, Teddy would don a Habs jersey and cap for a photo in front of his establishment.

I planned to get the photo last week, but when Montreal was rolling against Winnipeg I didn’t want to jinx anything, so I sat chilly, and what do you know.

Habs crush Jets, who knew?

Now, again, I can’t see them beating Vegas and Monday’s 4-1 Golden Knights win was deserving, but I am not going to add to the risk….We’ll set up the photo AFTER the Habs win it all (or lose to Vegas).

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Finally, a sign, a glimpse if you will, of things getting back to semi-normal – Jordan Lions are teeing up their Wing Night event again this Friday, June 18 at Lions Park on Fourth Ave.

Wings ($10 and $20 for 10 and 20 wings respectively) as well as fries and pop can be ordered for drive-thru pick-up by calling 905-321-2645. Enjoy!

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