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South East Bexar County Awareness: ESD6 NOW HOUSING ESD2 FIRE FIGHTERS
ESD6 Board Backed By Comissioner Rodriguez
According to members inside the ESD6 issue with the VFD's, Ms. Mendelsohn is doing Commissioner Chico Rodriguez's bidding, but what they hope to accomplish is not quite known.
NO MORE MEDICAL AID TO SOUTHEAST BEXAR COUNTY
One thing that is known: Chico Rodriguez (County Commissioner Pct 1) called the Medical Service Company and told them to cancel the contracts with the three volunteer fire departments in the ESD6 (Emergency Service District). Sandy Oaks VFD and South Bexar Fire & Rescue have been shut down by Ms. Mendelsohn and her board. Originally, they could no longer fight fires, but they still had a separate medical contract for EMS Services, until County Commissioner Rodriguez made the phone call that ended it all. The hazmat equipment that was housed at Sandy Oaks VFD, due to it being in what is known as "hazmat alley" area; was taken to Brooks City Base, about 15 -20 minutes away. The AtaBexar Fire Department did not lose its contract because they are in compliance and have insured vehicles. However, the ESD6 board chose not to renew the contract with the last remaining fire department, Ata-Bexar at the end of their contract period in October.
WHAT DO THEY HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH?
It is obvious to the members of the community as well as the members of the VFD's that Ms. Mendelsohn and the County Commissioner have an agenda, but what they are trying to accomplish is not known and leaves many in the community worried. Without adequate fire protection, the members of the community can see their homeowners insurance going up.
RUMORS RUN RAMPANT:
Ms. Mendelsohn told the media in several interviews that they would get and had an inter-local agreement with the ESD2. Questions were asked as to how much they would be paying for this agreement, seeing as how the ESD6 struggled to pay the $8000 that they owed monthly to each of the VFD's. Ms. Mendelsohn's first response was that it would be $8000 and two trucks would be placed within the ESD6 District. One at 37S & 1604 and the other at a location near the Southside Baptist Church and the ESD6 Office next door to the church.
What wasn't told to the community was that Ms. Mendelsohn worked an agreement with Southside Baptist Church to also give the ESD2 a building to use for a fire station and that the inter-local agreement would cost the ESD6 approximately $25,0000. A question posed by a member of the community was that she wondered how long this had been in the process, because the church had begun building a pad site for the trucks months ago and also wondered who paid for that pad site. While both very good questions, in the end the Southside Baptist Church had issues with power to the building and it was relocated to the ESD6 Office Property as well as the fire trucks. Ms. Mendelsohn rents the office from Mr. Lopez for the ESD6 office, no vote was taken or discussed as to moving the ESD6 on the property and or how much more the ESD6 is paying for it, agendas and minutes show no records either. A $25,000 a month, that is $300,000 a year from an area that doesn't bring in much more than that for it's operating cost in tax revenue.
It is known, according to the agenda for the ESD2 meeting, that on December 15, 2012, the ESD2 voted to go into an interlocal agreement with ESD6 as well as authorizing the President to sign a mutual aid agreement. On January 16, 2013, the ESD2 board, was voting to request funding for $300,000 for operational needs. It was stated on Oct. 18, 2012, that the ESD2 had a total of 13 firefighters to cover their area and that number has not grown enough to cover two territories.
All the uncertainty is leaving the community of the South Eastern area of Bexar County with many questions and no honest answers in sight.
ESD6 PRESIDENT REPORTS TO SOUTHSIDE ISD
The Southside Independent School District held a meeting on January 16, 2013, at the Administrative Board Room at 6 pm.; the ESD6 Board President, Sylvia Mendelsohn attended and gave a quick report on the activities of the ESD6. She was accompanied by two ESD2 fire chief's.
Ms. Mendelsohn was asked about mutual aid and according to Ms. Mendelsohn, the agreement that the other fire departments had was automatically "transferred" over to the entity that covers the area. She also claimed that the response times from ESD2 was much better than that of Sandy Oaks and South Bexar Volunteer Fire Departments. Ms. Mendelsohn typically did not give any information, but just continued to insure the district that they had excellent coverage for the area.