[Masthead] Fair ~ 59°F  
High: 68°F ~ Low: 45°F
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Slater officials express disappointment in 9-1-1 Commission site selection decision

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Two members of the Slater City Council expressed their disappointment with the decision of the 9-1-1 Commission to build the centralized dispatch center on land near the Marshall airport rather than selecting a site proposed by the city of Slater.

At the council's meeting Tuesday, May 6, Mayor Stephen Allegri and Councilman Ron Monnig each read statements, and each prefaced their comments by saying they spoke for themselves and not for the city or the council.

Allegri's brief statement noted that Slater's proposal to host the facility would have saved the county "hundreds of thousands of dollars."

"It is my personal opinion that Slater's proposal to the 911 Committee was the best and most economical proposal presented," Allegri said.

Allegri focused mostly on the relationship between the smaller towns and rural areas in the county and the county seat.

"I hope the leaders of Saline County and its boards realize that while Marshall (has a) population of approximately 12,000 people, this only accounts for half of the population of the county," he said. "There are approximately 12,000 farmers and citizens of other towns throughout the county that should be equally represented."

Allegri made a plea for unity among the various constituencies in the county, noting that "while Marshall is a wonderful town and we are proud of all it has to offer" other towns have contributions to make, too, and "what's good for one of us is good for all of us."

He ended on a positive note, asking for unity among county leaders: "We all must work together. Our county is too small to fight, but not too small to accomplish great things."

Later in the meeting, Councilman Ron Monnig read a longer, more detailed and more critical statement.

Monnig said that when the process of selecting a site for the 911 call center began all parties involved expected there would be a "level playing field" when decisions were made.

"Nothing could have been further from the truth," he said. "Guidelines have been ignored, criteria changed and invented and paid advertising on how the process would proceed was not followed.

"This is not a question of Slater vs. Marshall. This is a question of open honest government and being good stewards of taxpayers' money. In my opinion, neither has happened in this selection process."

Monnig sited as examples the use of criteria for site selection that used what he considered vague terms such as "remote," "close," "outside of" and "near" to describe appropriate proximities between the dispatch center and other features such as railroads, highways and other emergency response agencies.

"How can you address specifics when such ambiguous terminology is used?" he said.

A site-rating system published by the National Emergency Numbering Association was used by the commission to help make their selection, but Monnig said the specifics of the NEMA criteria should have been provided earlier in the process.

Commission Chairman John Fletcher has said he believes the process was fair to all the proposed sites. Commission members noted when discussing the criteria prior to publishing the call for proposals that there are many criteria to consider and no single site can fully meet all criteria, making the selection process a complex one.

The site near the Marshall airport received 2,361 points from commission members, while Slater's site received 1,911 points.

Commission member Corbin Allred, who effectively gave the Slater site a zero by turning in a blank scoring sheet for it, said he thought the site was inappropriate primarily because of its proximity to railroad tracks that are used to transport hazardous material.

Contact Eric Crump at marshalleditor@socket.net

On the Net:

An analysis of the site selection process: www.marshallnews.com/story/1400083.html

NENA criteria for site selection: http://tinyurl.com/6qy3zq

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on marshallnews.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

i wonder if they would consider holding the steve mcqueen days at the new MARSHALL civic center, after all he did come thru marshall when got the hell out of slater!!! it is a really nice facility!!!!

-- Posted by themonsterinme on Fri, May 9, 2008, at 7:21 PM


-- Posted by yomomma on Thu, May 8, 2008, at 9:10 AM

If the citizens of Marshall had asked ' JIM THE WONDER DOG' where the 911 center should be placed, Jim the wonder dog would point towards the city of Slater. And why would this be? Because He was a darn smart dog that's why.

-- Posted by POWERStobe on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 8:45 PM

The statement "over my dead body" was made in public, at different times, to different individuals. Does anyone know why the "Secretary" of the 911 Commission is not the person sending out meeting notices or taking care of 'duties' normally associated with that title? It is beginning to look more and more like Mr. Reives is the one running the show.....now honestly how can anyone say: 'he believed information that the Marshall sites were to be donated was a "misinterpretation". How in world can anyone misinterpret FREE? But of course that term was never used in any proposals and it is an obvious ploy of CYA. Give me a break.

-- Posted by saline mo on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 12:45 PM

Sorry River Ratt- let me correct myself. It was the other "John" that made the "Over my Dead Body" comment.........RIEVES. But then again- easy to confuse the two, they're both full of it.

-- Posted by prd123 on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 10:21 AM

I heard that Mr. Rieves was the one that quoted "It will be in Slater over my dead Body!" I have never heard anyone or witnessed at any of the previous meetings Mr. Fletcher give any negative remarks on any grounds, and the wind deal thats an excuse, and pretty funny at that. Good comment Allred!

-- Posted by SalineFire on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 10:06 AM

How about we have another 1/2 cent sales tax increase to fund something else? Any takers?!?!

-- Posted by onpoint on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 9:10 AM

Well River Ratt- Mr. Fletcher is the one who I have heard made the statement of "Over my dead body"....when he thought he was speaking in confidence of his fellow "friends".

And Mr. Allred is who quoted "the prevailing winds in Slater".

There- is that nerve enough?

-- Posted by prd123 on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 8:33 AM

saline- well said.

Slater isn't "crying a river"....I think like alot of other citizens- they just wanted things done right, and that didn't happen. I know this is clearly over your head jj....it's alright. Hang in there, it'll come to ya.

-- Posted by prd123 on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 8:28 AM

It seems like the 911 board would have been wrong with any location but the one that Slater proposed. The posters from Slater have made that point clear. I want to know which board member made the statements that are being quoted, "when ever you have board members saying the wind blows in Slater, and over my dead body,..." I want to be sure to vote for them next time. Unless of course you are just making that up. Have a little nerve. Tell us which one said that. Give us a date maybe and tell us who he or she said it to.

-- Posted by River Ratt on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 8:12 AM

hahahaha JJ I'm glad you bring STUPID humor to the comment board

-- Posted by SalineFire on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 7:30 AM

It seems after reading this article that ome of the people in Slater are disappointed with the decision by the majority of the 911 board, do doubt this was a loss to any community that applied for the center, but the ones who have the most to lose is the Saline County taxpayer. Thank you Mrs. Jefferies and Mr. Lenz for standing up for Saline County, the others on the board did not. The majority of this 911 board should be in Washington D.C., they don't think things out and money is no object. as long as these people continue to serve, we are in trouble. I don't care where the center would be, right is right, and the board was sure wrong. Its not where it is located it is the right way of doing business, and they had no sence of direction, when ever you have board members saying the wind blows in Slater, and over my dead body, this is not adults talking it has to be idiots making statements like that.

-- Posted by saline on Wed, May 7, 2008, at 6:00 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration:

Related subjects