So Which Way is the Wind Blowing in Olivette?

Vote in the readers poll attached to this article.

So far, a big rush of readers have have shown their interests today concerning the article about the Novack brothers opposition to the purchase of a building in the Olivette Executive Parkway as part of Proposition "S" next Tuesday. Read what the brothers have to say here.

Take the Patch readers' poll on this subject. Tell us if you are going to vote yes or no on next week's $9 million dollar referendum.

Then leave us a comment in the comments section. Remember all votes are anonymous. We want to find out which direction this vote is headed. It will take a four seventh approval (57 percent of the voters) to get this done. Tomorrow, we will look at what Olivette residents think about Prop "P" for Parks and the upgrades planned at Warson Park.


Leif Hauser August 04, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Do you really think that contracting services from an adjacent agency means that we will not have to bear costs related to salary, benefits, and pensions? Surely you have a better comprehension of how those costs would be passed along to us by the serving agency. Speaking of thinking regionally, several agencies with whom we already coordinate dispatch and mutual aid did a study a couple of years ago. The conclusion was that departments should remain in the control of their respective municipalities; that mutual aid agreements provide a de facto regional fire protection district.
Cornet of Horse August 06, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Mr. Hauser, Did you read the very illuminating Bill McClellan series of articles on a neighboring municipality, Brentwood. and their police/fire travails? It would be interesting if Patch posted links and compared/contrasted their issues with Olivette's. It would also would be great if McClellan wrote a column on Olivette. I try not to get discouraged, but if Olivette, a prosperous and diverse area, can not get their act together and think regionally, who can? If you don't believe that there are some significant economies of scale, in combining regionally, give it a good think again.
Leif Hauser August 06, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Cornet of Horse, first, if you have confidence in the depth and breadth of your understanding of a serious policy issue, I'd think you could stand proudly in the light of day and use your given name to state your position. My bias is that I think less of people who are unwilling to take responsibility for their comments by name. Now that we have that out of the way, I just read the Bill McClellan column that you referenced. Let me make a couple of observations. Smoke detectors don't stop fires. Smoke detectors alert building occupants that there is a fire and that they must evacuate. Building-wide smoke detection systems may also alert a nearby fire department that there is a fire in the structure so they can respond to help occupants escape, tend to injuries, and put out the fire. Smoke detectors are not a substitute for a well-trained, professional fire fighting force. Another observation, the column discusses indefensible graft by city officials. I gather you are suggesting that we have a similar situation in Olivette. As one who serves on City Council, sees the annual budgets, approves the memorandum of understanding with the firefighter's union, and works with the chief to make our department the best possible, I can say with confidence that we have a well-managed department. For you to suggest otherwise tells me that you have an ill-informed opinion, and nothing more than that to offer.
Leif Hauser August 06, 2012 at 02:38 PM
If you want to make a truly compelling argument about the virtues of combining several neighboring municipalities into a fire protection district, I suggest you first the read the Regional Fire Services Study (November 2009) in its entirety. After having done so, you'll be able to argue your position from a position of knowledge. Informed policy and governance isn't based on a couple of newspaper columns, it's based on hard facts and figures.
Cornet of Horse August 06, 2012 at 03:24 PM
I have no idea of incorrect behavior is going on, just a belief that the County-wide balkanization of police/fire is inefficient and way out-of-date. Balkanization has led to abuses in many municipalities. Oversight might be easier if it was centralized. More efficient in terms of time/talent/treasure, too. Olivette as a stand alone entity is an outdated construct. It was put together from several farming-era communities. The previous volunteer citizens who created Olivette made the decision that once paved roads and communications were in place, it made sense to combine. World has spun around a few times since the 1930's. The chiefs/sub-chiefs/sgts/patrolmen firemen are employees. We have no reason to not trust that they are honest, hard-working people dedicated to public good. But is Olivette doing them an injustice by having them in our little old lady police/fire district? Would not their talents/ambition/public interest be better served on a regional or county-wide level? The time to decide these issues is now, not after Prop S passes and the millions are sunk. Olivette is not defined by having an independent police/fire service. Can someone contact Bill McClellan? This might be a nice follow-up for him? Maybe what is really called for is something along the lines of a Military Base Closure Commission. Signing off on this issue, as we are talking in circles.


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