Chairman Is Forgetting About First Amendment Right

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Editor:

Let me get this straight. A taxpaying citizen voices his or her opinion in a letter to the editor regarding their concern of recent action taken by elected Pine-Strawberry Fire District board members and called hypocritical by the chairperson in a public media?

Once again, the chairman has either purposely skirted the issues or simply just doesn’t get it. Submitting one’s opinion is their First Amendment right and should not be taken lightly. Mr. Prechtal admitted in his most recent letter to the editor that he had placed a so-called “fact finding” phone call specifically to my fire department. A department two counties away that was not even close in size, population or organizational stature. During this “fact finding” conversation Mr. Prechtal entered into and inappropriately discussed with my employer my opinion and letter to the editor naming me personally.

The chairman publicly stated he had called to gain information regarding manpower, structure and salary ranges “and nothing more,” this is verifiably incorrect. It would be interesting to learn how many other departments he contacted in Pinal County. His action crosses the line professionally and ethically for a public official to conduct themselves in this manner.

The chairman truly needs to remain focused on facts that are related to the issues of which the taxpayers of our community are concerned.

Disseminating unrelated information to the public pertaining to a fire department that has absolutely nothing to do with the Pine Strawberry Fire District appears to be a smokescreen and a diversion from the facts.

Simply because one does not agree with a board decision does not necessarily constitute a personal attack on anyone, nor does it make them a hypocrite. What it does is raise a multitude of questions as to the recent decisions handed down by the incumbent board.

Mr. Prechtal truly needs to refrain from his feeble attempt of intimidation and lighten up a little, ’tis the season. Merry Christmas.

Mark L. Boys

Pine

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