Criticism should be informed
Regarding John Holt’s letter last week, “Don’t shake down residents for pool,” it is okay to express informed criticism of how Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) is managed, but was his criticism informed? I am writing as an LMOA member and volunteer and not on behalf of the Board or staff.

No, Mr. Holt, you do not pay the Board of Directors nearly $1,000 each year for them to “figure these things out,” nor do any LMOA members; Board members are volunteers who give untold hours on LMOA owners’ behalf. You seem to think the pool funding survey didn’t get enough responses, at 30 percent of owners. Every owner who has provided an email address (requested multiple times in recent years) was able to take the survey in several minutes on their computer, and every owner who lives at the Lake was notified in Lake Views that they could take the survey on paper at the LMOA office. What would you have done to get more responses? Did you answer the survey? Thirty percent is actually a very high percentage for a survey of any kind, and it is about the percentage of LMOA owners who vote in most of our annual meetings/elections.

Do you think LMOA should spend less on snow removal? How much less? Do you even know how much is spent annually on snow removal? How do you know that the Board did not consider “other funding possibilities” for the pool? Are you familiar with the LMOA budget, which is posted on LMOA Voice? Do you read the financial reports which are generally posted on LMOA Voice with monthly Board meeting materials? Have you signed up and accessed the LMOA Voice website? Have you attended any meetings of the (also volunteer) finance committee (which I chair)? Can you name another community in our region which has the amenities ours has and dues as low as ours?

Mr. Holt, I invite you to attend finance meetings, especially in the fall when the budget is being finalized, so you can see how spending is prioritized and monitored. And to all LMOA members reading this, there are vacancies on the finance committee, and I invite you to consider serving your community in an important way.

Jim Mixter
Lake Monticello

Thanks for history lessons

Thank you for publishing Frank Gallo’s “On our rights” even if it is a paid advertisement. What great history and government lessons. Thank you, Frank Gallo, for caring enough about Fluvanna citizens that you are educating us on our rights and duties as citizens of this great democracy.

John E. Ransone, Jr.

Misleading statistics lead to inaccurate perceptions

Quoting British Prime Minister Disraeli: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

The Fluvanna Review article “Action likely needed to stop missed first responder calls” is an example where the numbers don’t show the real story.  The reality is quite different.
The article states that the fire departments and rescue squads are “missing calls,” which is not the case. When dispatch sends out a call to one fire company, and doesn’t receive a response within a defined time, a second unit is added to the call. Perhaps that first company is already out on a call. If that second unit takes the call, the first unit will be marked as “no response.” That doesn’t mean that the emergency was “missed.” It simply means that it was not the first company toned. Here is another example: if Fluvanna Fire Chief Mike Brent responds to an incident, and no other personnel are required, the call has been answered and the emergency resolved, but whichever fire company was originally dispatched will get dinged, even though no further response was necessary. The numbers are telling a misleading story which is undeserved and extremely damaging to the reputations of all involved. Despite the sensationalistic and misleading headline, emergency calls in Fluvanna County are being handled. Fire calls are covered by our volunteer fire companies, and medical calls are covered by a combination of career staff and volunteer personnel (or rarely, mutual aid).

Fluvanna County is extremely lucky to have the skilled and dedicated volunteers that we have. Do we need more volunteers? Of course! We can always use more good people, and there is no better way than to volunteer with the fire and rescue agencies. Is there a major problem? I really don’t think there is. Our fire and rescue personnel are standing by to respond whenever disaster strikes. Our volunteers are here to serve, and are doing a great job of it. A recent survey of Fluvanna County residents shows that the fire departments have an 88 percent approval rating, which is exceptional. Please come and join us, and add to our proud tradition.

R. John Lye
President of the Fluvanna Fire and
    Rescue Association

First responder dedication is unwavering

Recently, an article was published in the Fluvanna Review commenting on the annual report given to the Board of Supervisors on overall operations of the county’s fire and rescue providers.

The article created an immediate outpouring of concerns and questions regarding the status of all the fire/rescue services in the county. However, the article specifically named the Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire Department in its reporting.

Those involved with the operations of emergency services in Fluvanna County immediately knew the information contained in the article was misinterpreted and false. However, once the inaccurate information was broadcasted, the fears and confusion of the citizens was brought forth. Realizing that the information, which was misguided and incomplete, fire/rescue and county officials knew that true and accurate information had to be disseminated to the citizens who are entrusted to our care.

The officials spoke with the author and provided her with true and accurate data. As a result of this discussion the article was amended to reflect factual and correct information. However, the article still needs further clarification and explanation. Hopefully, this will be forthcoming.

I would like to take this opportunity to alleviate any fears that you may have regarding the state of emergency services in Fluvanna. The men and women in all the fire/rescue organizations have always been committed to you and your families, to provide the best services possible. All our members devote an enormous amount time and effort to answer all calls for service and constantly train and educate themselves to better serve you. Our dedication, commitment and sacrifice to you is unwavering.

We are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for you and your families to keep you safe and protected. Rest assured when you need us, we will be there with well-trained, competent and committed professionals.

Every firefighter at the Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire Department will not hesitate to put him/herself “in harm’s way” for you and your families.
Thank you for your continuing trust and support.

Rich Constantino
Fire Chief

Editor’s note: Occasionally, topics included within a meeting summary article warrant a more detailed follow-up story. The Fluvanna Review has offered to sit down with fire and rescue personnel and the county’s emergency services coordinator for an in-depth story on missed calls.